Preserving Families

And Protecting Assets

mother and two kids walking at sunset

A fair divorce settlement requires honesty

Whether you were married less than five years or more than 20, if you encountered irreparable problems in your marriage, you may have decided that it’s time to move on in life without your spouse. The exact issues that prompted your decision to file may be similar to a family member’s or friend’s reasons who has navigated the process before you. It’s helpful to confide in someone you trust as you prepare for proceedings in a Texas court, especially regarding settlement issues.

It’s not fair if your spouse doesn’t play by the rules

As you prepare to settle your divorce, you and your spouse must resolve certain issues, especially if you have children. Another primary issue is property division, namely how the court will divide your marital assets and liabilities. Achieving a fair settlement requires full disclosure on both sides. If your spouse tries to hide assets, things may get messy in court.

Where do spouses usually hide assets in a divorce?

Perhaps you recently accessed your joint savings account, only to be confused by apparent withdrawals that you were not aware of at the time. This is often a sign that a spouse is trying to hide assets in a divorce. If you ask your soon-to-be ex about it and he or she gets defensive, it’s definitely further cause for concern.

The following list includes other ways in which spouses often try to stash assets in divorce:

  • If your spouse owns a business and you notice an employee’s name on the payroll that you have never heard of, your spouse might be paying a ghost employee as a way to hide assets in your divorce.
  • Did your spouse recently open custodial bank accounts for your children who are minors? This is another way to hide assets in a divorce because the parent whose name is on the account has full access to the account and can easily hide money there.
  • If your spouse recently purchased a large ticket item, such as a painting or a vehicle, it is especially important to make sure that he or she accurately reports the value of the asset during property division proceedings. Understating an item’s value is a way to hide assets in a divorce.
  • Overpaying on a credit card balance or on a tax return is an additional way that spouses try to keep assets from being subject to division in a divorce.

You no doubt are already trying your best to process your emotions and come to terms with the fact that your relationship didn’t work out as you had hoped. Suspecting that your spouse is trying to hide assets in your divorce may spark feelings of betrayal, frustration or anger. It’s important to know what to do if you suspect your spouse is stashing assets.

Many spouses seek the court’s intervention to resolve hidden asset problems

If a spouse lies about the value of an item or otherwise doesn’t fully disclose assets or liabilities in a divorce, the court may hold that person in contempt. Perjury is a crime. You may choose to discuss your suspicions with your spouse. If you’re not satisfied with the answer and believe there is evidence of a hidden asset scheme, you can seek additional support through the civil justice system.