Divorce requires full disclosure of financial assets. That does not mean everyone abides by this rule, unfortunately. Many people attempt to hide assets so that they do not have to divide them with their spouses. This is illegal, but it does happen, and you need to know what to watch out for. 

To help you, here are a few ways that people often attempt to hide their assets:

  • They make up expenses, especially if they own a business. Your spouse may have bragged about how well the business was doing before but, as soon as you file for divorce, they suddenly have a ton of expenses and aren’t making any money. 
  • They make up old debts. This is usually just a way to give away money. For instance, your spouse may suddenly remember that their brother loaned them $100,000 a few years back, and they need to repay it. The scheme is simple: The brother gives the money back after the divorce because the debt never existed. 
  • They claim to forget about assets they hope you won’t remember. They may be honest with bank accounts and physical property that you see frequently, for instance, but they may fail to mention an investment account or stock options that they own. They’re just hoping that you won’t remember and they won’t get caught.
  • They take little amounts of cash over time. They may start adding on $100 every time they go to the ATM or use their debit card, for instance, putting the money aside and hoping you don’t see the small transactions. 

These are merely a few examples, but they show how common this is. If you think your spouse is hiding assets, do you know what options you have?