You may be like many spouses who are content to let your partner take care of the finances. Payday comes, and your spouse pays the bills on time. Perhaps you have some investments, life insurance and other monthly transactions you left up to your spouse. As long as no problems arose, you were happy remaining in the dark.
However, a serious problem has arisen, and you are heading toward divorce. Now you are not so happy to be ignorant of your financial situation. In fact, you have reason to believe that your spouse is keeping assets hidden from you, and you wonder if this could affect your chances of getting a fair share of property division.
Looking for signs of financial infidelity
If your spouse is hiding assets, it is quite likely that you will be robbed of your fair portion of the marital assets. Even if your spouse earned the larger portion of money and devoted more time to managing and growing your family’s finances, Missouri law still directs an equitable distribution of all the assets the two of you accumulated during your marriage.
To determine if your spouse is hiding assets, you can look for some of these signs:
- Your spouse is suddenly unwilling to share information about the family finances.
- You are unable to locate important documents, such as recent statements from bank accounts.
- A sudden and confusing increase in activity on investment accounts may be an attempt to cover up secret transactions.
- Your spouse has not yet received a raise or bonus that is overdue because he or she deferred it until after the divorce.
- Your spouse intentionally overpaid income taxes so that he or she can keep the refund after the divorce.
- Your spouse inexplicably lends or gives money to family members or friends who will return it after the divorce.
Your spouse may also have a separate bank account about which you do not know or have invested in real estate in someone else’s name. There are endless possibilities, and it may require some research and investigation. Finding the truth and locating the assets will be critical to securing a financially healthy future after the divorce. If you discover that your suspicions are correct about your spouse hiding money or other assets, the law provides options for penalties. This may include a substantially higher payout to you in the divorce settlement.