It does not have to be a bitter divorce for a spouse to attempt to hide assets. Revenge, spite and greed often are at the root of money matters. This includes divorce scenarios.
Sometimes, an estranged spouse may disregard certain rules pertaining to money and subscribe to illegal tactics just to maintain a firm grip on what clearly are marital assets. Hiding those assets becomes a tactical game. And, in some situations, these people may get help from others.
Here are four common ways that a spouse attempts to hide assets:
- With the willing help of relatives and friends: Their loyalties clearly are in the corner of the estranged spouse, willingly allowing him or her to hide assets – including cash and investment certificates – on their properties. Another creative way: such friends gladly accept “repayments” on phony debt.
- Scheming with an employer: Secretly working together, the spouse and employer may seek to delay certain key earnings matters. For example, an employer may agree to postpone a significant raise or work bonus for the spouse until the divorce has been finalized.
- Overpaying creditors and the IRS: The object of this strategy is for your estranged spouse to receive that money as a refund.
- Setting up and investing in questionable accounts: They may create custodial accounts in their children’s names by using their Social Security numbers. They also may create an account using their paramour’s name and Social Security number. In the latter situations, it will prove challenging to locate those accounts and money.
You may have to be a sleuth to track down hidden assets. In these situations, it is a good plan to enlist the guidance of a skilled attorney as well as an invaluable forensic accountant.
Tracking down every last cent
Shameful, illegal and unethical are the best ways to describe a spouse’s attempt to hide assets. With the right allies on your side, you may be able to uncover every last cent.