Hidden assets may jeopardize your fair property division

You may have hoped your divorce would end amicably, and your spouse might have given that indication. However, your future depends on your financial stability following the divorce, and that stability is in question if your spouse is not being truthful about your finances.

If you have been an active participant in the family's finances, you may have sensed early that things were not right. On the other hand, you may have trusted that your spouse would do the right thing and give an honest accounting of the marital assets. Now, you may not be so sure this is what's happening.

Keep an eye out for suspicious diversion of assets

Something must have triggered your suspicions that your spouse was hiding assets from you. It is not uncommon for one spouse to try to protect some assets from property division or simply to prevent the other spouse from gaining those assets. If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets, you may have noticed signs including these:

  • Excessive transactions in investment accounts creates confusion that can mask the withdrawal of funds.
  • Records of unusual or exorbitant living expenses may signal that your spouse is diverting money.
  • When your spouse conveniently forgets to share details from the account used for household expenses, you may be justifiably suspicious.
  • If your spouse refuses to discuss finances or pointedly avoids answering your questions about assets, you may wonder why.
  • Your spouse may divert assets through his or her income by delaying a promotion, raise or bonus until the divorce is final.
  • If your spouse overpays his or her income taxes or applies a refund to future payments, he or she may be planning to receive a large refund after the divorce.
  • You may look for evidence that your spouse keeps a secret bank account, which may even be in the name of a friend or family member.
  • Some divorcing spouses temporarily divert money to family members or close friends by claiming to offer them loans or to repay loans they have given.

Certainly, your spouse may have other creative ways to keep you from your rightful share of marital assets, and sometimes, it may take a forensic accountant to track down those funds. Of course, the best way to avoid the possibility that your spouse will hide assets is to remain vigilant and active in all areas of your family finances.

This advice may do you little good at this point. However, you may find advice for your current situation by consulting a California attorney who has resources to help you track down the assets that are legally part of property division for your divorce.

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