Most marriages are built upon trust, and even after a divorce is initiated, spouses still believe that they can rely on their former partners to be honest during negotiations. Unfortunately, a spouse who is nervous about his or her financial future or believes that he or she is entitled to a larger share of assets may attempt to take advantage of your trust. Approximately one third of adults have admitted to hiding purchases or financial assets from their spouses. Though the deception might not be done out of malice or to purposefully hurt the other partner, hiding assets has the power to create lasting financial harm. Understanding why your spouse would hide assets from you helps you protect yourself in the event of a divorce.
Sense of Entitlement
If your spouse was the primary earner during your marriage, he or she may believe that he or she is entitled to a larger share of your joint assets. Women and men who have sacrificed a career to become a stay-at-home parent are especially vulnerable to the repercussions associated with a spouse hiding assets during a divorce. Without a career or education to fall back on, stay at home parents are heavily dependent upon the assets they are awarded during the divorce. Not having a fair share of joint assets can increase your risk of living at or below the poverty line after your divorce is finalized.
Higher Support Payments
The available income and financial resources each spouse has can impact the amount of financial support a spouse is awarded or required to pay. A person who wants to receive a higher amount of spousal support may attempt to conceal the existence of savings or other assets. In addition to hiding available cash, your spouse may try to conceal or reduce his or her income amount to further reduce the amount of money he or she is forced to pay.
Even if your spouse appears to be reconciled to divorce and has discussed ways to have an amicable split, he or she may be concealing real feelings. Anger, bitterness, or resentment can all affect a person’s judgment, leading to poorly thought-out actions. Hiding assets in order to harm you while making his or her own post-divorce life easier may seem common sense to your ex, but many people do not understand the full consequences of their actions. What seems like an easy way to punish you can prolong the divorce and severely harm your spouse’s credibility.
If you believe your spouse is attempting to hide assets or notice that he or she is acting suspiciously regarding money, then consulting a division of property attorney is always a good idea. An attorney is able to recognize unusual transactions and may also have access to forensic accountants who can uncover attempts to hide assets. The aggressive attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are dedicated to protecting our clients from deception and financial harm. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our four Atlanta, Georgia locations so that we can begin providing you with the legal representation you need.