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Is your spouse trying to hide assets?

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2023 | Divorce |

Property division is one of the most crucial components of any divorce. Ideally, spouses will come to an agreement early on in the process in order for all parties to walk away with a fair settlement. Sometimes, couples may have signed a prenuptial agreement that outlines how property should be distributed in the event of a divorce.

If no prior arrangements have been made and couples cannot agree to terms through negotiation or mediation, the court will step in and distribute assets according to the doctrine of equitable distribution. Essentially, this means a couple’s shared assets will be divided equitably to both parties according to their financial circumstances.

For any property distribution arrangement to work, the court must be aware of all assets. Sometimes, a spouse might take steps to prevent this by hiding assets. This may occur if one spouse believes they are going to lose out if they are honest about what they own. During the divorce process, be sure to look out for these signs if you think your spouse is attempting to hide assets.

Significant cash withdrawals

During a divorce, neither spouse should withdraw large sums of money from joint accounts. This is the case because the court will need to thoroughly assess the situation to understand each party’s circumstances. Large cash withdrawals in the middle of a divorce are a cause for concern. Be sure to keep a close eye on any joint bank accounts as you move through the divorce process.

Gifting items to family members

You and your spouse may have built up a collection of art or other valuable items over the course of your marriage. You’ve both contributed to the collection and both of you receive enjoyment from it. Thus, you are both entitled to your fair share. However, upon recently checking on the collection, you notice that a few of your favorite items are missing. Upon questioning your spouse about it, they have informed you that they gifted the items to friends and family. You suspect that the true reason for this is that they do not want to disclose these items to the court and give you your fair share. This is a clear sign that your spouse is hiding assets and should not be overlooked.

Fairly distributing marital property relies on honesty and accuracy from both spouses. If either spouse hides assets, the process falls apart and could lead to an unfair settlement. This is one reason why seeking legal guidance as you navigate property division during divorce is vital.