Unfortunately for many, the divorce process can get ugly as spouses resort to playing games to get revenge on a soon-to-be former spouse. We have all heard the horror stories of a mega-wealthy CEO disguising income or hiding property to protect certain assets from a divorce settlement. However, deception is not unique to the wealthy. If you are not careful, you could fall victim to a lying spouse’s scheme.
While many couples enter into prenuptial agreements to protect their assets in case of divorce, some individuals simply resort to lying and scheming. Asset hiding can occur before or during marriage. Typically, a spouse who hopes to protect assets in divorce overstates debts and undervalues assets. This leaves the other spouse with a smaller share of property upon divorce.
There are signs that may indicate that a spouse is hiding assets. If your spouse maintains complete control over your finances or bank accounts, you may have cause for concern. Spouses who are secretive about financial decisions or the couple’s financial status may be hiding something. If your spouse erases financial files from your computer, there could be a problem. Spouses who own small businesses tend to have more opportunities to hide revenue or sales proceeds. If your spouse’s business finances seem to change drastically over a short period of time, your spouse may be altering the books to hide assets or income.
Another strategy that a spouse may use to hide assets is to report a drastic drop in the value of investments. A spouse who plans to hide assets may also open a separate bank account unnecessarily. While it may be difficult to catch a lying spouse, bank statements, checks and tax returns can be used to track an individual’s financial activities. Asset-tracing services are also available to individuals who suspect their spouse is hiding assets during a divorce.
If you believe that your spouse is hiding assets, an experienced San Antonio divorce attorney can protect your interests.