Finances are one of the most common reasons for marital dissolution and contention in divorce. The problem becomes even worse when you suspect or discover that your spouse has been hiding assets from you.
Most advice focuses on how wives can catch their husbands and receive the property to which they are entitled. However, it can happen to husbands, too. Look for these signs that your wife is hiding assets, and learn what to do about it.
Signs of hidden assets
If your wife takes care of the finances, has her own business or kept her premarital accounts, it can be very easy for her to hide money from you. Some red flags include:
- Going on shopping sprees to deplete her account with the intent to return the items later
- Giving expensive gifts to family and friends
- Withholding financial information or access from you
- Falsifying business records and lying on tax returns
- Using more cash than normal to avoid a paper trail
- Opening a foreign bank account
- Asking you to sign unfamiliar documents
If there are no obvious indicators, try one of these methods from the Association of Divorce Financial Planners for uncovering hidden assets.
What you can do
The most important step to take to protect your financial future is to gather as much paper and digital evidence as possible. This may take the assistance of an attorney, a divorce financial analyst and a forensic accountant to ensure your investigation and proof are thorough, accurate and legal. Doing this may seem like too much work or stress, but it is worth it. If your wife successfully deceives the court of her financial circumstances, that may mean you will have to pay her more child support and/or alimony than is necessary. Or perhaps she will get out of paying you support.
Divorce can have just as much an impact on the husband's financial security as it does on the wife's. Finding hidden assets is in your best interest.