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Common methods spouses use to hide assets

If you reflect on that day you either asked someone to marry you or accepted a proposal, you probably had nothing less than complete trust in the person with whom you decided to spend your life. Relationships have a tendency to change over time, however, and that person you once trusted may one day become your adversary. When couples are on the verge of a split, it is not uncommon for each spouse to look out for his or her own best interests, and this can lead husbands and wives to try to conceal assets from one another so that they do not have to be divided. They may attempt to do so in the following ways.

Transferring funds

If you suspect your spouse might be trying to hide assets from you, the first place you may want to look is your bank statements. Look for any large debits or transfers, as your spouse may be moving funds to a separate account (and quite possibly, an entirely separate bank) in an attempt to conceal them from you.

Taking cash back on shopping trips

Another sneaky way your spouse may hide assets from you is by taking relatively small amounts back when he or she shops at, for example, the grocery store. He or she may assume that you are not going to notice these small deductions, or that you will assume the extra $60, $80 or more was part of the bill for the shopping trip. Over time, these small deductions can add up, giving your spouse a nice little nest egg he or she may not have to share with you.

Selling assets to friends, family and confidantes

Your spouse may also attempt to hide assets from you ahead of a separation or divorce by unloading them to a trusted friend. Be aware that he or she may sell pricy artwork, jewelry or other assets to someone with whom they have an existing relationship, and that the pair may have some type of agreement in place where the goods sold will eventually be sold back to their original owner.

Delaying payment or invoices

If your spouse owns his or her own business, he or she may intentionally delay sending bills to clients so that the money coming in from them does not get taken into account during divorce proceedings. If your spouse is employed by someone else, there is also a possibility that he or she will, depending on the type of relationship, ask his or her employer to hold off on issuing a bonus or raise until the divorce is officially finalized.

If you suspect a divorce may be in your future and that your spouse may be hiding assets from you ahead of it, you may want to consider meeting with an att orney.

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Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC
412 Franklin Street
Clarksville, TN 37040

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