If you’re involved in a high-asset divorce without children, your main concern is likely dividing assets. You and your spouse own a lot jointly — homes, cars, investment portfolios, retirement accounts, etc — and you want to make sure that you get what you deserve when the relationship ends.
One concern you may have, then, is that your spouse will hide assets and attempt to pretend they don’t exist, thus keeping 100% and giving you nothing. With significant assets that are often very complex, this is a real concern that could impact the rest of your life, and you need to know what to look for.
Tactics to hide financial assets
There are many ways to hide financial assets from a spouse, but these are some of the most common:
- Moving stock to a different account, a different person or a business account
- Giving cash to another person, such as a friend or a business partner
- Overpaying bills, taxes and other debts, so as to ask for a refund on the overpayment at a later date
- Lying about the value of specific assets to reduce the impact they have on division
- Asking an employer to hold off on commission payments, promotions or raises that should happen during the marriage
- Simply removing a small amount of money from joint accounts in a way that goes unnoticed, but doing so over a long period of time. The money can then be stored in a new account or a safe deposit box.
Legally, your spouse is not supposed to do any of this, but it does happen. Make sure you know what options you have to protect your future. In a divorce, it’s important to have an experienced advocate on your side.