Going through a divorce is an emotional ride. Wondering whether your spouse is hiding assets from you can cause added stress.
As part of a divorce, Ohio courts will divide the marital assets according to state law. It can be challenging to keep track of your family’s finances, especially if you have complex assets. This could include vacation homes, bank and brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, stocks, and bonds.
If your spouse is hiding financial assets, this could lead to an unfair settlement. To protect yourself and your future, below are the most common ways you can detect if your spouse might be hiding assets.
What to look for and what to do about it
Financial statements no longer come in the mail – a change in how statements are delivered could be a red flag. Review your bank accounts, statements, and check your credit card statements. Also, include your tax returns, IRS, pension, and 401(k) statements. Make copies of your financial statements in the event there’s a delivery change.
Decreased salary – if there is a sudden change in your spouse’s income, it could indicate he or she is delaying the collection of bonuses or commissions. Your spouse may even be deferring salary until after the finalization of your divorce.
Overpaying creditors and the IRS – if you notice your spouse is paying more than what is required by creditors or the IRS, it could mean your spouse plans to collect a refund after the divorce is final.
“Cooking the books” of a business – your spouse may pay an employee, friend, or family member who does not work for them, with the hopes of cashing in on those funds after the divorce is finalized. Also, by doing this, it makes the business appear less valuable.
Secretive and controlling behavior – if your spouse is acting differently or seems more controlling and defensive about money, he or she could be redirecting your marital assets. In this situation, you can employ a forensic accountant to look for fraudulent activity.
An attorney is your best defense
If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, it is important to hire a divorce attorney who has extensive experience and knowledge of the legal system and divorce. Also, your attorney will aggressively fight to get you the best possible settlement.