Is my spouse hiding monies and assets?

Many people will hide marital property before filing divorce papers so it is important for spouses to know the warning signs.

Divorce can be the opportunity to move forward and have a better life but it can also bring out the worst in people. Sadly, it is not uncommon for people in The Woodlands to start hiding monies and assets before they actually file for divorce.

In fact, Fox Business states that 45 percent of people in a survey admitted that they had a savings account their partner or spouse was unaware of. Additionally, two-thirds of those who took the survey said that they had a secret credit card account and close to 7 percent said that they had a hidden financial account. The survey involved over 1,000 adults and those who admitted to some kind of financial infidelity included men as well as women.

Tell-tale signs of suspicious behavior

People who are victims of a dishonest spouse may not realize the issue until after the divorce has already been settled. Therefore, it is important for people to familiarize themselves with the tell-tale signs that something isn't quite right. While some spouses are better at covering their tracks than others, the following behaviors should always raise a red flag:

  • Presents property deeds or tax returns with a push for the spouse's signature
  • Sudden loss of a financial keeping program
  • Claims the family business is suffering financially
  • Sells business assets to family members or friends
  • Starts buying expensive items which is out-of-character
  • Refuses to hand over passwords to online accounts or any kind of banking information.

Additionally, a spouse who is hiding marital property may have made international trips to countries where it is easy to hide cash and other valuables, or may suggest that the couple put together a mutual durable powers of attorney. Other signs may not be so obvious such as struggling with a gambling or drug addiction. Some spouses actually set up post office boxes or have their bills sent to a different address to hide the existence of accounts.

Finding the property

While in some cases, it may not be possible for people to find the marital property, there are things people can do. One of these is to obtain copies of tax filings to determine the couple's actual income and the existence of any properties. Another way is to install an application on the other spouse's smartphone or device, which can reveal the spouse's online activity.

Bank statements are one way to show that the spouse has been dishonest and evidence might turn other people involved in the scheme into witnesses for the victim. The earlier the spouse starts an investigation, the better the chance of finding the hidden assets and money.

Legal repercussions

When a couple files for divorce in Texas, they are legally required to disclose all of their financial holdings, income and valuable assets. For the spouse caught hiding assets, the court may order that spouse to pay more to the victim, cover the victim's legal fees and may even seek criminal action.

People who are considering a divorce or who think that their spouse is planning to divorce them would find it a good idea to meet with an attorney. An attorney can help them understand what to expect and work with them to make sure their rights and interests are protected.