We don't want to think the worst of others, even when that person is a soon-to-be-ex-spouse. However, when the time comes to determine a divorce agreement, it can sometimes bring out the worst in people. You would hope that your spouse wouldn't resort to concealing assets from you, but experts warn that it is an all-too-common event in many divorces.
Many people here in New Jersey and all over the country aren't fully aware of their exact financial situation. That can lead to disaster for anyone seeking a divorce. Fortunately, experts have tips in determining whether your spouse might be hiding assets from you in an effort to protect them from your divorce agreement.
What are the warning signs?
There are several warning signs that may indicate your spouse is trying to conceal assets from you. To find them, experts suggest that you:
- Look over any changes to investments or movement of money. If you see a rise in strange activity, such as a large amount of transactions, it might mean your spouse is trying to make it hard to track assets.
- Compare your household expenses to what is normal for your area. Living expenses, such as rent, should be comparable to normal costs for your area.
- Take note of any financial errors. If your spouse didn't tell you about a significant financial change, that is troublesome.
- Be aware of your spouse's willingness to cooperate. If he or she won't answer any questions you have about your finances, you may want to examine why.
My spouse seems to be hiding assets - what next?
Experts say that you need to remain on alert and investigate further into your joint finances. Now is the time to think about any other methods your spouse might use to hide money, keeping in mind that moving money from account to account is not the only way. Some other ways he or she might be hiding money include the following:
- Delaying or deferring a bonus or raise
- Overpaying on taxes or putting a refund towards estimated future payments
- Moving money or other assets to a trusted friend or family member
- Having a secret bank account separately from you or with a third party
- Keeping assets in a closely held business to lock them up or lower income
- Overestimating travel or childcare expenses
Experts say that the best thing to do is get fully up to speed on your joint financial matters. This way, both of you are fully equipped to handle your finances if a divorce should occur. An attorney may be able to assist you if you have questions about your joint assets and how they might affect a divorce agreement.