Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging things that someone can go through. It is especially difficult if a former partner is hiding assets or money. The emotional turmoil can be overwhelming, and it is not uncommon for one party to want a bigger share of a former shared life because they feel entitled to it. This tricky part of going through a divorce can add to the emotional stress of having to go through another type of deception from a former partner. To protect oneself from this unjustified loss, it is best to look out for some tell-tale signs to know if a spouse is trying to take advantage. Some of the signs to look out for are below.
Giving Away Unusually Expensive Gifts
People who are trying to hide assets usually give valuable items as a way to conceal them. After the divorce is finalized, the ‘gifted’ items are returned to the fraudulent party. By doing this, a partner can prevent the assets from being divided during a divorce. Examples of unusually expensive gifts can be in the form of artwork, jewelry, or properties.
Concealing and Controlling Passwords
Individuals who are trying to hide assets usually shred or destroy physical evidence of such assets and move on to changing and controlling digital access to those assets. If your spouse has suddenly lost the physical records of joint accounts and is the only person who has access to the digital passwords and logins, then it’s a sign that they might be hiding money or assets from you.
Refusing to Share Financial Documents
Access to the documents of shared assets should be shared between individuals. When a partner suddenly gets angry or acts strange when you ask to look at financial documents, then that is a serious warning sign. Either they have given away the assets as a gift to be collected by them again later or they are hiding it from you.
Sudden Increase in Business Expenses
One way that some people hide assets before a divorce is to have sudden payments that were not there before. These ‘business payments’ could be funneling money to their other accounts or hidden offshore accounts that the other party may not know about.
Having Private Mailboxes
Another way of concealing financial information is when someone is coursing important documents through a private mailbox or post office box. This is a way of intentionally hiding important paperwork. Look for possible hidden mailboxes in the form of your partner sending their mail to their office instead of your home or sending it to a family member’s house instead.
Out of Character Spending
A spouse who is hiding assets and money would usually have a mismatch of spending versus income. Another way to see this is if a spouse is suddenly spending money in ways that they have not done before. This is a way of funneling funds to a hidden account or a dummy account. This may not be obvious but another sign if someone has a hidden account is if they can make big purchases without you knowing about it or without you seeing it in your shared financial documents.
Are you or someone you know going through a divorce or separation and you suspect that the other party may be hiding assets and money? Contact us at Haywood Hunt and Associates and we’ll walk you through some of our private investigative services such as asset tracing and recovery and support payment investigations. Feel free to call and we’ll be happy to respond to your queries.