Hiding money (assets) during a divorce is illegal and unethical. Never the less it’s more common than you think. Both men and woman alike have and continue these tactics daily. I am in no way advocating hiding assets. I am simply documenting facts to help educate and protect.
By hiding money your spouse may be trying to lower child support and alimony payments. You and your attorney must look to uncover any hidden moneys and to prove the actual amount of money that your spouse has available.
I’ve listed five items below to give you a starting point for finding hidden income and assets.
1) Your spouse may defer a part of his salary until after the divorce. Look for letters, notes, or emails asking to defer income. Look at past history of your spouses earnings. If he/she is normally receives $50,000 per year in commissions and suddenly not receiving any money or a dramatic drop. Advise your attorney.
2) Some spouses receive bonuses in addition to their net pay. Look for deals where partial bonuses are paid and the other portion is put into a separate account accruing to the benefit of the employee. Bonuses can be deferred for future distribution. Look for a pattern of bonus payments in the past.
3) If your partner is suddenly, chronically short of cash, or if their weekly ATM withdrawal doubles, that could be a sign. Many stores now let you get cash back when using your debit card for purchases. Your spouse can be adding $20, $40, or more to ever purchase. Check receipts.
4) Does the mail come to your home? If not, that could be a red flag that your spouse doesn’t want you to see certain incoming statements.
5) Any changes in the way family finances are handled. Did that joint savings account suddenly disappear? Was there a piece of a stock sold or got rolled over into something else?