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Hiding assets in divorce is illegal. Do you suspect your spouse?

by | Aug 14, 2019 | High-Asset Divorce |

The decision to divorce is a personal issue that typically doesn’t come lightly. If you have decided to sever marital ties in court, you likely understood ahead of time that you would have to resolve certain matters pertaining to property division and, perhaps, child custody, if you’re a parent.

With regard to property division, Arizona operates under community property laws. This means the court will typically split marital assets 50/50 in divorce. If you notice your spouse acting odd concerning financial matters, it might warrant further investigation, especially if you suspect that you have a hidden asset problem on your hands.

What is the purpose of trying to hide assets?

Why would a spouse try to hide assets in divorce? There isn’t really one definite answer; however, if you consider that living in Arizona means you’ll likely be splitting all your marital property equally with your spouse, you may understand why some people try to beat the system. They often think that, if they can hide assets, they will keep the other spouse from getting them.

Alert signs

If your spouse gets defensive or angry any time you bring up the subject of finances, it might be cause for concern. One of the first places you’ll want to look for hidden assets is on your joint tax returns. If your spouse needs a quick way to stash cash, he or she might send an overpayment to the Internal Revenue Service.

There could even be cash hidden around your house, as well. If you are worried about hidden assets, check drawers, closets, boxes, even attic spaces or chair cushions, in case your spouse is literally stuffing money into hiding places. When you check your jointly owned bank account balance, if money is missing and you didn’t know your spouse was making a withdrawal, it’s definitely reason to inquire about it.

Who can help?

You can’t walk into a courtroom and randomly accuse your spouse of hiding assets. The judge overseeing your case will want to see hard evidence to prove it. What you can do, however, is request full disclosure from your spouse.

There are also Arizona spouses who have turned to experienced family law attorneys to help them uncover and halt hidden asset schemes. The court doesn’t show favor toward people who break the law in order to try to gain the upper hand in divorce proceedings. You have options if you suspect your spouse. You can protect your rights to make sure you get all property to which you’re entitled when you go your separate ways.