Tips to Prevent Assets From Being Hidden

In this time of economic turmoil, I anticipate the divorce rate will increase.  When money is available to fund a comfortable lifestyle, spouses are more forgiving of minor transgressions. But, when there is less cash available, it is more difficult of overlook a spouse’s foibles and failings.

So, as the marriages begin to unravel, the inclination of some disreputable spouses may be to hide or stash away marital assets. Divorce offers some tips to Know When your Spouse is Hiding Cash. Some of most common methods of hiding money are:

  • moving money from a joint account to an individual one;
  • putting assets into a family trust, offshore corporation or shell corporation;
  • buying collectibles or other items that retain value but are not liquid;  
  • purchasing insurance policies, cashiers checks and savings bonds.
  • investing in certificate "bearer" municipal bonds or Series EE Savings Bonds. (These do not appear on account statements because they are not registered with the IRS.) or 
  • colluding with an employer to delay bonuses, stock options, or raises until a time when the asset or income would be considered separate property.

The article identifies some of the indicia that a spouse may be attempting to hid assets. Tell tale signs of wrong doing include:

1. Significant and unexplained changes in the value of assets.   Unexplained changes could be a signal that something untoward has happened.  

2. Does your spouse's income suddenly seem lower? Some individuals can manipulate how they take their income, for example, deferring income.

3. If your spouse travels internationally he could have hidden foreign ban k accounts   

4. Are family members whom your spouse previously ignored now being lavished with gifts? Or has your spouse decided to suddenly invest in a family business venture?

The common sense best protection –  stay fully informed about the marital finances. 


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