How to Tell Your Spouse is Hiding Assets
Divorce requires both parties to be up-front and honest with financial disclosures. All assets should be identified, catalogued, labeled as separate or marital, and then marital assets will be divided equitably between the parties. Unfortunately, many spouses try to hide certain assets to protect those assets from distribution to their spouse upon divorce and to alter their financial picture for the purposes of all financial decisions involved in the divorce. If you suspect your spouse might be hiding assets in advance of or during a divorce, it is important to seek help from a seasoned New Jersey divorce attorney. Below, we discuss some of the warning signs that could indicate your spouse is hiding assets.
Financial Statements No Longer Showing Up
Any changes shortly before a divorce may be a red flag. If you typically receive bank statements and other financial documents via mail, a shared email account, or joint access to online accounts, and suddenly you stop seeing those documents, it could be a sign that your spouse is trying to divert, dissipate, or otherwise shield assets from the divorce. Talk to your bank, financial advisor, credit card company, and other institutions to ensure that you are getting all relevant financial statements. You’ll want to be gathering all financial documents already to prepare for your own divorce disclosures.
Watch out for changes in behavior leading up to a divorce. If your spouse suddenly starts making extravagant purchases without your knowledge or consent, they might be trying to hide or dissipate funds in advance of the divorce. Your spouse may believe they can park their net worth in expensive items, or by “buying” expensive items from friends, and then sell or otherwise recover their costs after the divorce. In doing so, they are attempting to shield those funds from the divorce process.
In addition to buying expensive items, your spouse may suddenly start overpaying for things. They may overpay taxes, debts, or other accounts expecting to receive a refund after the
divorce is over. Tell your attorney about any unusual financial behavior to ensure assets are not wrongfully kept out of the divorce.
Gifts and “Loans”
Your spouse may believe that they can park their assets with friends and family. They might start giving away property to friends and family to shield those assets from the divorce. They may suddenly bring up unpaid “loans” they owe to friends and family, which they simply must pay back before the divorce. Any large money transfers in the months leading up to a divorce should be immediately suspect.
Change in Salary or Other Income
A sudden decrease in salary could indicate that your spouse is trying to hide their income. They may have opted to defer their salary or hold commissions for future bonuses in order to collect after the divorce is finalized when you will no longer have legal rights to the property.
As we said, watch out for sudden behavioral changes. If your spouse suddenly becomes very controlling over the finances and your expenses, overly defensive of their behavior, or overly secretive, they might be trying to divert or hide assets in anticipation of divorce.
Dedicated Legal Advice and Representation For Your New Jersey Divorce or Family Law Matter
If you need professional and detail-oriented legal assistance with divorce, paternity, child custody, premarital agreements, child support, alimony, or other family law matters in New Jersey, contact the Union offices of family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro at 908-964-0102.