Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you feel like something was not right, perhaps as though the other person was not being completely forthright – maybe he or she was trying to hide the truth from you? There are many reasons a friend or loved one might do such things. One might be that he or she is afraid of what your reaction will be if the truth comes out, and he or she is trying not to upset you.
Another might be that telling the truth would mean exposing a personal fault that the person to whom you are speaking doesn't want you to know. If you're currently going through divorce, you believe your spouse is not acting on the up-and-up, it might have something to do with a hidden asset problem. Knowing how to recognize signs that your spouse is trying to hide assets and where to seek support may help you get things back on track before they get out of hand.
Has your spouse done any of these things?
While you may no longer wish to stay married, you still are likely the one person who knows your spouse better than anyone. If you think his or her behavior seems odd, and that hidden assets have something to do with it, you can take immediate steps to find out more. The following list shows common signs of hidden asset trouble:
- If your spouse tells you your home computer has crashed but you didn't think anything was wrong with it, it may be a sign that there is information on the computer he or she is trying to keep from you.
- If you broach the topic of finances or ask a specific question about money transactions and your spouse gets very defensive, you may want to consider whether there's an underlying reason.
- Did your spouse change passwords to your shared online accounts without telling you the new passwords? This is a major sign of trouble.
- Has your spouse been giving money to friends, co-workers or relatives, saying it is pay back for loans? If you didn't know any loans had transpired, you may want to further investigate the situation.
The main issue to remember regarding hiding assets in divorce is that it is illegal in California and all other states. California is one of only nine states in the nation that continue to use community property rules in divorce. This means you are generally entitled to 50 percent of all your marital property.
If you think your spouse is stashing cash or otherwise trying to give you the short end of the stick concerning assets, you can take steps to determine a course of action. There are several ways to address a hidden asset problem, but the bottom line is that you have rights and there are people who can help you protect them.