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Methods spouses use to conceal assets

If you suspect your marriage may be nearing its end, you may also be dealing with a loss of trust in your relationship. If you get the feeling your spouse may be readying to leave you, you may also believe he or she is beginning to stockpile assets in an effort to set his or herself up financially in the event of divorce.

Regrettably, spouses often conceal assets from one another when they suspect their marriages are circling the drain, and many people rely on similar methods in doing so. For example, if you suspect your spouse is trying to hide property from you, know that he or she may do so by:

Stockpiling debit card cash withdrawals

You may have noticed that when you shop at, say, grocery stores, the clerk may ask you whether you want any cash back with your purchase. In some cases, spouses might begin taking $20 here and $20 there in cash back, thinking you either will not notice, or you will think the extra money was part of the original shopping trip. Over time, however, those small deductions can add up.

Transferring assets to a friend or separate bank account

Another common method spouses use to hide assets from one another involves opening up a second bank account in his or her name and moving money over to it, often in small increments that may not garner attention. Your husband or wife may also transfer or sell pricy assets to a friend ahead of the divorce, while having an existing agreement with that friend that dictates how and when your spouse might get these items back.

Delaying raises or client invoices

Depending on your spouse’s profession, he or she may also attempt to hide assets by not invoicing clients for work performed until after the divorce. If your spouse has a close relationship with his or her employer, he or she may also ask his or her boss to delay giving a raise until after a court or judge determines spousal or child support amounts.

If you suspect your spouse may be hiding assets from you, do your research, because you may not have much recourse once your divorce is final.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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