Divorce is a complicated process, especially when there are significant assets involved. California is a community property state, which means anything acquired during the marriage is considered joint property and is to be divided equally between the divorcing spouses.
Unfortunately, some spouses might be tempted to cheat by hiding assets during divorce proceedings. If you believe your spouse is hiding assets, you must recognize the signs and know what steps you need to take.
Here are some signs that your spouse may be concealing assets during divorce:
1. Changes in spending habits
Your spouse suddenly starts buying expensive items, which may be an attempt to divert money into physical objects.
2. Secretive about finances
They may change where bank and other financial statements are delivered or start intercepting the mail in an attempt to hide their financial activity. They also become defensive when questioned about finances.
3. They become generous with friends and family
Your spouse begins buying lavish gifts or giving loans to people they are close with to remove assets from the marriage temporarily.
If you believe your spouse is hiding assets during your divorce, there are some steps you need to take, such as:
- Document everything, such as tax returns, deeds and account statements.
- Investigate to see if there are other assets, such as offshore or business accounts.
- Consider hiring a forensic accountant who is trained to look for financial discrepancies.
- Discuss your concerns with the court, which may impose penalties upon your spouse.
Hiding assets during a divorce is illegal. It’s imperative that you have someone who will protect your rights and ensure the fair distribution of marital assets.