Once a couple has decided to get divorce and it is clear that the divorce will be contested, their relationship may become strained. Each spouse will have to cope with feelings of sadness, depression, and in some cases anger over the pending divorce. That anger may leave a spouse with the desire to lash out at the soon-to-be former spouse financially. Depriving one spouse of access to funds is a common divorce tactic that is done either out of vindictiveness, a desire to receive most of the marital assets, or in an attempt to force a spouse to settle quickly in order to receive access to money or property. The ability to recognize common signs that your spouse is hiding assets increases your chances of noticing the plan before you are harmed financially.
Unexplained Drop in Income
A sudden loss of income that is unexplainable is often one of the first signs that a spouse is attempting to hide assets. Reporting a lower income may reduce future financial obligations such as child support and alimony. Hiding income also gives a spouse a way to save money for personal or legal expenses while stopping his or her own contribution to the marital income. Since attempting to hide income is a common tactic, attorneys and judges often request extensive documentation regarding salary in order to check for any unusual or unexplainable drops in income.
Making Major Purchases
One spouse may start reducing the available cash resources by making large major purchases for no clear reason. Items such as furniture, expensive jewelry, and vehicles are all commonly purchased reducing assets. These items are sometimes sold after the divorce to recoup the cash allowing one spouse to unfairly benefit from marital assets. Some spouses may also purchase expensive items to exhaust available lines of credit or create more debt to later reduce maintenance payment obligations and unfairly benefit from any settlement agreements that require the couple to use mutual assets to pay off all mutual debt.
Changing Account Access
Divorcing adults may also do things as simple as changing account access to limit the information the other spouse can receive about the balance of a bank account. Once the access is restricted, the spouse who initiated the change is able to transfer funds without the other spouse knowing. That spouse will also have the ability to stop direct deposit payments to joint accounts so that they are no longer adding to the value of that joint asset while continuing to use the account’s existing funds at their own discretion.
Get Qualified Help Fast
Hiding assets is something that can be done quickly and the effects of the deception may not become apparent until it is too late. If you or someone you know is preparing for a potentially unpleasant divorce, it is important to speak to a qualified attorney as soon as possible. The longer you wait the harder it would be for your lawyer to protect you and the assets that are rightfully yours. Our aggressive divorce attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are able to provide you with the representation that you deserve. Call our conveniently located offices today at 678-736-7700 to schedule a consultation.