It’s understandable that you try to see the best in your spouse, even if the two of you have encountered irreparable differences in your relationship. It’s natural to not want to think negatively about a person with whom you shared marital intimacy, especially if you have children together. However, when divorce in a Michigan court is a reality for which you are preparing, it’s natural to want to protect your interests.
If you suspect that your spouse is trying to hide assets before property division proceedings, there’s no getting around it. It’s not a pleasant topic. You might even feel awkward or rude asking your spouse about questionable financial issues, but making such inquiries is neither. In fact, it’s the best thing to do if you suspect a hidden asset scheme.
If your spouse gets angry or becomes defensive, it’s may be a red flag
If you approach your spouse to discuss finances — for instance, money missing from a jointly owned bank account — you should expect a logical explanation. If, instead, you’re met with anger or your spouse becomes overly defensive or accuses you of trying to stir up trouble, it might be cause for concern. It doesn’t hurt to dig a little, and may even help you protect what’s yours, if you wind up discovering that your former partner is trying to give you the short end of the financial stick in your divorce.
Where should you look for hidden assets?
The fact that there are “common ways” to hide assets in divorce shows that many spouses have attempted such schemes in the past. If your spouse has recently opened a new bank account or has added his or her name to a minor account for one of your children, you might want to learn more about it. A spouse who is trying to stash cash will often withdraw money from a joint account and hide it in a juvenile account or private account.
Have you noticed a collection of gift cards or prepaid credit cards in your spouse’s possession lately? Purchasing these types of cards is another way to hide money in a divorce.
Your spouse might be learning about hiding assets, online
There are websites and articles online that teach people how to hide assets in a divorce. If your spouse were to read one of these articles, he or she might learn to hide money from you by purchasing a safety deposit box. Another common trick is to request cash back at the point of purchase in a grocery store, shopping mall or other establishment.
A spouse who asks for $50 every time he or she buys something could rack up a secret cash stash in no time. Purchasing a credit card that does not have your name on it is another possible way to hide assets. If a spouse is purchasing large ticket items with a credit card that the other spouse knows nothing about, it wouldn’t be difficult to hide those items until after the divorce, then sell them.
Making sure you get a fair settlement
The court has no way to accurately determine a fair division of assets between you and your spouse in divorce if all of your marital assets have not been disclosed or your spouse has found a way to hide money. If you try to discuss the matter with your spouse and are not satisfied with the explanations you’re given, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for additional support to help resolve the issue.