Quite often, not all parties enter divorce with the financial transparency required. Your spouse may conceal some assets to prevent their division, potentially leaving you with less than you deserve from the marital property. It is a prevalent but often overlooked aspect of property division during a divorce.
Recent statistics point to this. About 15 million individuals in the U.S. admitted to hiding financial accounts or assets from their partners, according to a survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). Given the likelihood of this happening, overlooking the possibility of hidden assets when going through a divorce can hurt your financial future. It’s better safe than sorry.
Common ways spouses hide assets
Spouses resort to various methods to conceal assets during divorce proceedings, often employing intricate tactics. They include:
- Under-reporting income to lower the perceived earnings
- Over-stating debts to reduce apparent wealth
- Transferring assets to third parties to hold until after the divorce
- Undervaluing assets to diminish their worth on paper
- Using cryptocurrency and other digital currencies to hide transactions and make them difficult to trace
- Stashing cash
- Using complex financial structures like offshore accounts, trusts and shell companies to obscure ownership and control of assets, among others
It’s important to note that hidden assets are not always conspicuous. They might lurk within seemingly innocent transactions or appear as legitimate financial moves. It underscores the importance of conducting due diligence and taking proactive steps before and during the divorce to safeguard your interests.
Reaching out for legal guidance is crucial if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets to manipulate the property division process of the divorce. It can help you uncover concealed wealth and understand the steps to take to get your fair share of marital assets.