Is My Spouse Hiding Assets?
If you are considering obtaining a divorce, or if you are already going through one, you likely have many questions and concerns. One of your concerns may be that your spouse is potentially hiding assets from you, which could give them an advantage in the divorce proceedings.
Methods of Hiding Assets
Unfortunately, the hiding of assets just prior to or during divorce proceedings is not uncommon. There are a few different ways that a spouse can hide assets; it is important to be aware of these methods so that you can be ready to take immediate action if it happens to you.
One of the simplest methods is taking out cash and hiding it from the other spouse. Assets can also be hidden by transferring stocks or other investments to someone else on a temporary basis with the understanding that the assets will be transferred back to the divorcing individual after the divorce is finalized.
Another way a spouse may hide assets is by deferring a significant raise or bonus until after the divorce is finalized or keeping the extra money “off the books.” Another tricky way this may occur is if a spouse overpays creditors or their taxes with the expectation that the money will come back to them down the road after the divorce has been finalized.
Signs Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets
There are certain signs and indicators that your spouse may be hiding assets. If you notice your spouse is starting to be secretive about finances and changing passwords without giving you the new passwords, that is a big red flag. Another red flag to be aware of is if you notice your spouse opening new financial accounts and taking on unusual amounts of debt.
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, let your attorney know about your suspicions right away. The sooner you notice this happening, the sooner it can be resolved. There may be serious consequences for your spouse if you are able to prove that they have been hiding assets.
Consequences of Hiding Assets
Hiding assets during divorce proceedings is both illegal and unethical. If a spouse is caught hiding or not disclosing an asset that is worth more than $500, there can be significant consequences imposed by the judge presiding over the case. The judge may decide to award the asset in question to the other spouse, or the judge may opt for other punishments.
If you are considering divorce in Wisconsin, we can help you get started. The experienced Wisconsin divorce attorneys at Bandle and Zaeske, LLP know what to look for to determine if your spouse is attempting to hide assets in a divorce. We help you analyze financial documents to make sure all assets are accounted for. If it becomes necessary, we will hire a forensic accountant to carefully analyze all assets. Contact us by calling (414) 359-1424 or send an email to schedule a confidential consultation.