In a marriage, it is common for one spouse to take on most of the financial responsibilities. Perhaps they are more inclined towards math, so they keep track of all the couple’s finances.
This may seem innocent during the marriage. However, spouses who were not involved in many financial matters during the marriage may want to be careful when filing for divorce. Nowadays, it is all too common for spouses to hide assets from the other and protect them from property division, regardless of whether the couple holds significant assets or not.
Hidden assets are certainly a significant issue, but there are ways to detect them before they become an even bigger problem. Here are some of the most common signs that a spouse could be hiding assets:
1. The spouse denies the asset in question exists
If a spouse has hidden significant purchases, investments or finances during the marriage, it is likely that they will try and hide them during the divorce as well. The same also goes for any financial accounts that only they can access, such as a savings account.
Spouses who hide assets will be very secretive about their finances. If someone questions them about the asset, the spouse will deny it even exists or avoid answering the question. This is the first sign that a spouse could be hiding assets.
2. The spouse transfers money to a third party
Another common tactic that individuals use to hide assets is to temporarily give them to someone else. They claim that it is a gift, or even that the third party is struggling financially.
Those assets are in someone else’s name, so they are not subject to property division. Then, after the divorce proceedings, the spouse recovers the assets for themselves.
3. They report sudden financial struggles
Another warning sign that a spouse is hiding assets is if they begin making false claims about their finances. It is common for individuals to claim:
- Their salary has decreased
- Their business is not doing well
- They are in debt
Of course, lying about finances would be a clear sign that someone is hiding assets. However, spouses who hide assets are often strategic. They subtly build up to these claims so they can successfully protect their assets from the Virginia property division process.
Protecting the next chapter of your life is possible
Knowing these signs can help individuals protect their finances and their post-divorce life, but it can still be a challenge to find hidden assets. However, the accomplished attorneys at Bowen Ten Long & Bal, PC can help individuals navigate the property division process, find hidden assets and protect their rights.