If you and your husband face divorce, you may have very real reasons to suspect he may try to hide assets from the divorce process. Especially if he was the primary income contributor in the household, you may have a significant claim against a number of his assets, some of which he may try to keep off the property division table.
While not every divorcing husband does this, it is more common than you might think -- and make no mistake, hiding assets from divorce is generally illegal, and may even result in criminal charges if your husband doubles down on this foolish behavior and gets caught doing so.
If you believe that your spouse may hide assets, don't wait to reach out to an experienced attorney in your area who understands how to protect your rights as a wife throughout the divorce process. Professional legal counsel allows you to focus on moving on from this difficult chapter and building a new life for yourself on the other side of divorce.
Symptoms of hidden assets
There are many ways to hide assets, and far too many to mention here. However, if any of these scenarios match your husband's behavior, you may have grounds for concern.
One of the most common ways a husband may attempt to keep assets out of your hands is by simply bringing home less income. He may work out agreements with an employer to withhold certain payments like commissions or bonuses, or may even withhold part of a salary until after the divorce finalizes. You may want to check and see if the household income is decreasing.
Similarly, he may stop financial statements and bills from coming to the a mailbox you access regularly. If you suddenly have far less access to your finances, this is certainly a reason to raise your suspicions.
A spouse may also get creative and overpay the IRS when it comes time to pay taxes. This way, he can simply refile later and request a refund on the overpayment. Be sure to scrutinize tax documents over the last few years and collate them to relevant financial statements to see whether or not they match and if they seem artificially low.
If your spouse owns a business, he may take more steps than simply bringing less income home. There are many ways to hide assets within a business, such as hiring ""employees"" that do not actually do anything to redistribute assets. If your spouse does own a business, be sure to consult with an attorney about whether the business itself is actually marital property. If so, you may have a rightful claim to a portion of its value.
Take action to protect your future
In many instances, especially in the South, divorces treat women inequitably. However, you understand that your contributions to your marriage are far more difficult to quantify and value than your husband may believe.
You certainly deserve legal guidance who understands just how valuable your contribution to your marriage is, and who will fight to protect your priorities and rights each step of the way to finalization.