Do you think your spouse is being honest with you about the family money and assets, despite the fact that you’re seeking a divorce? Over one-fifth of American spouses lie to their mates about money during their marriages, and there’s no reason to think that the situation improves during a divorce.
As much as you’d like to believe that your spouse will be honest with you, stay alert for the following financial “dirty tricks” from your spouse. They may:
- Pay fake debts: Your spouse may suddenly remember that they owe their brother or best friend several thousand dollars for a business loan that was never mentioned before. The idea is to pass money to someone they trust and claim it back again after the divorce.
- Outright hide money: Spouses get creative with this. They may defer bonuses at work, throw money into a custodial account under a child’s name, defer their salary, overpay their taxes (so that they can claim a massive refund later) and stuff cash or coin into safety deposit boxes.
- Invest in digital currency: Cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, were designed to be largely invisible and hard to track, which makes them ideal when someone wants to keep money hidden.
- Use bonds and stocks to conceal assets: The interest earned on certain kinds of bonds doesn’t have to be reported on your taxes and stock transfers to trusted relatives can be easily accomplished. Both can be hard to spot in financial records without help.
Hiding money and assets during your divorce proceedings is both illegal and unethical — but that doesn’t mean people don’t do it. If you start to suspect that your spouse isn’t being honest and transparent with you about marital assets during your split, talk to your attorney about what steps you can take to make sure you know what assets are at stake.