During your divorce, the expectation is that you and your spouse will share your marital assets fairly. Unfortunately, however, some people attempt to conceal their assets to avoid sharing fairly during a high-asset divorce. Not only is this behavior selfish and childish, but it is also against the law. Nevertheless, greed is a powerful motivator, and your spouse may weigh the reward of illicitly retaining assets against the risk of getting caught and decide that it is worth it.
Spouses willing to hide assets often stoop to dirty tricks to pull off the deception. Their tactics, though audaciously unethical, are nevertheless not usually original. The following are some of the most outrageous tactics your spouse may use.
- Complaining conspicuously
Your spouse may make a point of complaining pointedly about not having enough money or being in debt. This is a smokescreen used to throw off suspicions about his or her finances that might arise later.
- Transferring money overseas
Many other countries have monetary laws that are much less stringent than they are in the United States. These countries typically make it easy to open an account from overseas. Your spouse may open a foreign bank account and then transfer money where it is harder to trace.
- Turning down a promotion
Your spouse may turn down a promotion at work or other perks, such as bonuses or commissions. This is especially suspicious if your spouse is typically a very ambitious, goal-oriented worker. What you might not realize is that your spouse is not necessarily turning down the bonus or promotion but just deferring it until after the divorce.
- Adding accomplices
Your spouse may involve family or friends in the deception. He or she may pay back a purported debt to a family member, only to have the relative return the money after the divorce. Another ploy is to use business accounts to pay loved ones for “consulting services” or temporarily add them to the payroll.
The good news is that, now that you know about the shady tactics by which your spouse might hide assets, you can watch out for the warning signs.