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Watch for the signs your spouse may be hiding assets

When a marriage is heading toward divorce, at some point the spouses may lose the element of trust. This may be the reason for the divorce or one of its consequences, but even if you are divorcing amicably, you may notice feelings of suspicion toward your spouse. It is not altogether bad because it may alert you to warning signs, especially when it comes to finances.

The stability of your future following the divorce may depend largely on obtaining a full and fair division of marital property. If your spouse is less than honest about the joint assets he or she controls, you may not get what you deserve out of property division.

Trust your instinct

Hiding assets from a spouse during divorce is relatively common. However, it is also illegal, and a spouse who tries to keep joint property away from the eyes of the divorce court may find the consequences are steep. Nevertheless, whether out of fear or spite, spouses may try to prevent their former partners from obtaining certain assets. This can be a scheme more complicated than stashing cash in a sock drawer. If you see any of the following, you may wish to alert your attorney:

  • You notice unusual changes in your spouse’s financial activity, such as withdrawing small amounts of money more often or closing accounts.
  • Your spouse has transferred stocks to your children or others.
  • Your spouse has started a new business, which may be a dummy company for hiding assets.
  • Your spouse makes large withdrawals from a joint account and claims to use it to pay taxes or other debts.
  • Your spouse is suddenly interested in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.
  • You begin noticing new art, antiques or other valuables your spouse claims are worthless.
  • Statements from your accounts and investments no longer arrive in the mail, or your passwords no longer work to access the information online.
  • There is missing information from your spouse’s financial disclosure, such as details about commissions, bonuses, royalties or other benefits.

It is critical that you do not play the same game with your spouse by trying to hide marital property that should be included in asset division. As carefully as your spouse may think he or she has hidden assets from property division, there are ways to discover these funds. A skilled and experienced Michigan attorney will have the resources to investigate your suspicions and work to obtain for you the most complete share of assets you deserve.