When facing the prospect of a divorce, both spouses are likely to worry about their individual financial futures. So much so, that it is not uncommon for a husband or wife to attempt to illegally hide assets. There are a number of ways this can be accomplished, and you would be wise to pay special attention to the family's finances when divorce becomes a reality.
In a recent finance article, AOL provided tips on how to uncover the most common methods used to hide assets.
1. Cash back
When grocery shopping or shopping at a department store, it is not uncommon for an individual to select to receive cash back on the transaction. An additional $20 on a transaction might not seem like much, but if you consider this extra $20 on every transaction suddenly gets hidden away as a cash reserve, the dollar amount can add up quickly. You will not notice this on bank statements because the store charge will include the cash-back amount in the total amount of the transaction - not as a separate line item.
2. Friends and family
Has your wife or husband suddenly been super generous in giving gifts? Your spouse may be transferring assets in the form of gifts to friends and family. When the divorce is over, your ex will retrieve them to return, sell or keep.
3. Shopping sprees
If your wife or husband is already a big shopper, you may not notice a change in behavior, but he or she can use those spending habits to hide money. Your spouse may buy things and return them later to regain the cash, or go on luxurious trips to deplete the amount of money visible in shared accounts.
4. False business records
If your spouse owns a small business, whether it's run at home or in a brick-and-mortar location, he or she may falsify the company's financial records to make it appear that the business is not doing as well as it is. Examples include:
- Fake expenses
- Delayed invoices
- Underreported income
- Deferred salary
These will make the business seem less valuable so you do not get a fair portion of it in a divorce.
No matter how your spouse hides money and property, you have a right to your share. If you suspect your spouse is keeping assets from you or have found evidence that is the case, speak to an attorney.