4 Red Flags That Your Spouse Is Concealing Assets to Receive a Better Settlement

Serving Clients Throughout Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Napa Counties

For many couples going through a divorce, the division of assets can be the most contentious aspect of the legal proceedings. Equitable distribution of common marital assets in a divorce is a legal requirement. However, if the couple is not able to reach an amicable solution to this problem, the final decision on how the assets should be divided lies with the court.

In that case, a judge is presented with a complete list of all the common assets and joint property and has to make a “just and equitable division” thereof. This requires both parties to make an honest and complete disclosure of assets and property they own with a clear distinction into what is community property and what is separate property. It is important to note that in California, all property acquired by a person during the time they are married usually becomes community property. This means that both spouses have equal ownership rights to it unless an exception applies.

In some cases, however, one spouse may try to conceal some of his or her assets from the other. This is illegal, and if it is discovered that one spouse gave incomplete, misleading, or outright false information with regards to the assets and property they own, they can be held in contempt of court or even charged with perjury. In this blog, we will analyze some telltale signs that a spouse may be trying to conceal some assets to receive a better divorce settlement.

  1. Disappearing Financial Statements

If bank statements and other financial documents used to be delivered to your home but it seems that you can no longer find them in the mail, this may be one of the first red flags pointing to dishonest activity on the part of your spouse. By restricting your access to the statements from his or her accounts, your spouse may try to conceal some financial activities. These may include purchases of portable wealth that is easy to hide in an undisclosed location.

  1. Sudden Drop of Income

One spouse may try to defer a portion of their salary or wait to collect their bonuses after the divorce. This way the money won’t show up as income and could be concealed from the court. If you have access to your spouse’s pay stub, however, you can see that some money is being deferred to a compensation plan.

  1. Defensive Behavior

If your spouse becomes defensive or irritable whenever the topic of money comes up, it may be indicative of some dishonest activities as well. A spouse who tries to conceal some of his or her assets may also become more controlling about money, perhaps actively hiding some information from you as discussed above.

  1. Stashing Money

If you encounter money stashed in a deposit box – perhaps somewhere in the house or in another location – that you didn’t know of, and if your spouse doesn’t have a habit of saving money in this way, it may indicate that he or she is trying to hide assets in cash. Another way of concealing money would be to open a new account, perhaps using your child’s Social Security number, and transferring funds to it in order to hide the true ownership of these assets.

Suspecting Your Spouse of Concealing Assets? Contact a Trusted Attorney

Concealing assets during divorce proceedings is an extremely delicate matter that is often difficult to untangle. If you suspect your spouse may be providing the court with incomplete, misleading, or false information with regards to common property, you need a lawyer you can trust. The attorneys at Carroll Law Office have ample experience in dealing with complex divorce issues. You can trust us with every detail of your situation and count on our expertise and compassionate support. Contact us today to schedule a consultation on your divorce case.

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