It is no secret that spouses do not share every single detail in their lives. If they did, such a scenario would make for an information overload, petty arguments and the occasional fit of jealousy. Couples can be discreet about many things, but assets should not be one of them.
Finances often are at the center of disagreements in marriages. A move such as hiding assets reeks of betrayal. And, for couples heading down the path toward divorce, hiding assets affirms that the marriage is over. The already-out-in-the-open mistrust gets a significant boost when hidden assets come into play. Now, you must uncover those assets and recognize the subtle signs and not-so-subtle signs that your spouse has something to hide.
Search your home, peruse tax records
Last year, a poll conducted by OnePoll organization revealed that 37% of the 2,000 respondents acknowledged that they hid money from a spouse or partner. The poll did not address other assets that may include real estate, investments, businesses, retirement accounts and slush funds.
If you have suspicions that your spouse hides assets, you likely will receive a myriad of excuses and lies. Your spouse may claim ignorance and flatly deny such assets exist. He or she may assert that the assets were stolen or lost.
Do not believe this. Your job now is to do your best to uncover these assets. Here are some places to look:
- Conduct a thorough search of your home. You may receive a shock at what you find such as the safe you did not know your spouse had. Look in closets, ceilings, books, freezers, garages, underneath furniture and the floor mats of vehicles, and you may find evidence of hidden cash and important asset-revealing documents.
- Tax returns from the years of your marriage can prove to be a goldmine of information. Thoroughly review itemized deductions, which can reveal hidden rental property investments. You also may find evidence of a business sale or acquisition, interest earnings from investments such as mutual funds and bonds.
You did not expect such deep mistrust from your soon-to-be former spouse. Those assets are marital assets, and they also belong to you. No one needs secrets with ties to hidden assets.