Warning signs that a spouse is hiding property
Simply put, spouses do not always share the dirty details of their purchases or finances with one another. Sometimes, an omission is a genuine oversight, and sometimes, it is done intentionally in an effort to avoid a fight over an expense one spouse may not consider worthwhile. While hiding assets is sometimes done innocently, it may be done intentionally if your spouse is considering leaving you and embarking on life on his or her own. Statistically, men are more likely to hide property from their spouses than women, but it does happen on both sides. If you suspect your spouse may be hiding property from you, keep an eye out for the following.
Your spouse moving money around
Transferring property from one location or bank account to another is among the more obvious signs that your spouse may be attempting to conceal assets. This is particularly likely if you are not granted access to the new accounts or if you notice that passwords are suddenly changed or that other actions are taken to ensure you cannot access funds.
Your spouse making expensive and uncharacteristic purchases
If your spouse is typically something of a penny-pincher and suddenly begins acquiring expensive jewelry, electronics or artwork, this could be an indication that he or she is trying to store assets in an area that may be overlooked during divorce proceedings with the plan of ultimately selling or exchanging the items for money later on.
Your spouse transferring assets to a friend
If your spouse is readying to leave you, he or she may have confided in a friend about the plans to do so. In some situations, that friend may temporarily take on your spouse’s property so that it does not come into play once divorce proceedings begin. Your spouse may have a plan in place with that friend to buy back the assets that were transferred after the divorce is finalized.
Your spouse not getting paid on time
If your spouse is someone who gets paid job by job or for one major contract at a time, and that money seems to arrive later and later, this may be intentional. Your spouse may be trying to avoid collecting payment until after the divorce so that the income that eventually comes in does not have to be distributed between the two of you.
These are some of the more common signs that your spouse may be hiding assets ahead of a divorce. If you suspect your spouse is taking these or other actions to conceal property, you may find it beneficial to speak with an attorney.