When you and your spouse decided to divorce, you might have assumed you would both treat the process with honesty and transparency. Your spouse, though, may be playing hardball and is trying to win your divorce by all possible means. You may suspect that they are hiding assets, which – if they managed your household’s finances – they think you will have difficulty finding. By knowing how to locate these, you can make sure you receive the share of marital property you are entitled to.
How spouses hide assets
Before divorce proceedings begin, you will go through a period known as discovery. During discovery, your attorney can demand that your spouse provide a written statement or an oral deposition – under oath – to answer any questions you have about their finances. They can also demand your spouse to produce certain documents, like financial records. With your attorney’s help, you can review these documents, which may include tax returns and bank statements, for discrepancies. If you find any red flags – like offshore income, real estate income or investment income previously unknown to you – they may signal that your spouse is hiding assets.
Outside of discovery, you will want to know where to look for hidden assets on your own. Some ways that your spouse may be hiding assets – in plain sight – include:
- Delaying income, a bonus or a promotion
- Gifting items or money to family and friends
- Investing in cryptocurrency
- Opening a P.O. box
- Purchasing expensive items – like collectible cars or art – to convert to cash later
- Taking frequent trips to known tax havens
Consequences for hiding assets
Nevada is a community property state, which means that – as part of your divorce – you and your spouse will receive equal shares of any assets you acquired during your marriage. The court, then, will likely frown on your spouse’s actions if they have hidden these from you. If they lied under oath about the existence of these assets, they could face perjury charges. Regardless, they could face financial penalties, determined at the court’s discretion. Your spouse may have to pay a fine, as well as your attorney’s fees. And they may have to repay your share of the hidden assets to you.
By knowing how to track down hidden assets, you can make sure you receive your proper share of your marital property. An attorney can help you work through the process of discovering these assets and holding your spouse accountable.