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When should you be suspicious that your spouse is hiding assets?

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Secrets often come to light during the divorce process. Sometimes those are financial secrets – big ones. You have a right to a fair property settlement in your divorce, but you can’t get that if your spouse isn’t being completely honest and transparent about finances.

Both parties are required to provide full and accurate financial information to the other. If your spouse has always been the one to handle the family finances or if they have complex assets, like stock options with their employer, ownership in property or businesses or overseas investments, it may be wise to add a financial advisor to your divorce team.

Common red flags

Before you do that, let’s look at some red flags that your spouse may be hiding or undervaluing assets – whether they did it throughout the marriage or only now that they risk losing some of them in the divorce.

This can include things like:

  • Controlling all of the joint assets and accounts
  • Having you sign documents, including tax returns, without giving you a chance to read them
  • Making cash withdrawals they don’t have a valid explanation for
  • Being vague about how much money they earn

There are also red flags that can pop up as you start to review your spouse’s financial information in the divorce. These can include:

  • Accounts and credit cards you didn’t know about
  • Transactions on these accounts or cards that are unexplained or suspicious
  • Seeing far fewer assets than you thought you had or specific missing assets
  • Loans you were unaware of to family members or friends
  • No crypto assets are listed even though your spouse had a big interest in them

One or two of these might not be cause for concern. More than that can be a sign of fraudulent behavior.

Financial professionals can help

Often, divorcing people who are attempting to hide assets count on their soon-to-be-ex not to understand their financial information or ask too many questions. However, you have every right to bring in professionals to review the information.

Forensic accountants know where to look for hidden assets. Sometimes, a good financial or tax professional is all you need. With sound legal guidance, you can better determine whether your concerns are valid and what type of additional resources can benefit you in working toward a fair settlement.

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