No one takes that walk down the aisle with the idea that the marriage may someday self-destruct, but regrettably, it does happen. Feelings fade, distrust arises and any number of other circumstances can lead your marriage to start circling the drain. If your situation is particularly acrimonious, you may also start to get the feeling that your ex, or soon-to-be-ex, may be hiding assets ahead of an impending separation or divorce. There are a number of methods spouses commonly use to conceal assets from one another, and these methods may include:
Moving funds around
Moving money from a shared bank account into a separate one is among the most common methods spouses use to shield assets from one another. If you are feeling suspicious, keep a very close eye on any shared accounts and be on high alert for any unexpected transfers or debits.
Taking cash back on debit card purchases
Often, when you shop at major retailers, such as grocery stores, and use a debit card, you may be asked if you would like to any cash back following your purchase. Your spouse may be taking some cash back each time he or she goes to the store, and even small amounts, if taken regularly, will become significant over time. This can be easy to get away with, because the extra cash back may look as if it was simply part of the existing grocery bill.
Intentionally overpaying the Internal Revenue Service
Intentionally overpaying the IRS is yet another method your spouse may use to hide assets from you. For example, instead of accepting a tax return and collecting associated funds, your spouse could ask that the return instead be used to cover taxes for the following year. Provided divorce proceedings are completed before the next tax season, your spouse will have excess funds at his or her disposal to use for covering taxes in the years to come.
Selling or transferring items to friends or family members
Your spouse may also enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to help hide finances. For example, your spouse may suddenly decide to unload certain expensive items, such as artwork or electronics, and sell them to a confidante at a low price with an understanding that the items will be sold back once the divorce is finalized.
Every situation is different, so if you believe your spouse may be working to hide assets from you ahead of a divorce, consider contacting an attorney.