Divorce can be messy, especially if your spouse hides assets. This guide will help you learn what you can do if you think they are being shady.
Getting divorced is often a tough process full of stress and panic. Spouses may not agree on key terms of their split-up; they may not wish to discuss their property division, real estate sale, custody of their kids, etc.
But what to do if your partner took away all the money of your family? How to find the money your spouse has hidden, and why is it important to do that before starting the divorce process? In this post, we will answer these questions.
What are hidden assets?
Before a divorce, many couples realize they cannot divide all the material things they have peacefully. Oftentimes, partners do everything possible to hide or ‘forget’ about certain belongings, not to let the other partner get them due to divorce. Such things are called ‘hidden assets,’ and below, you can find out what they look like:
- Cash, Credit Cards, Bank Accounts
- Pieces of Art, Vintage, or Antiques
- Business Assets
- Assets in Other Countries
As you can see, we can name any potential money resource as a hidden asset. Therefore, if you purchased the mentioned things during your family life, we suggest you keep an eye open on where they are located before your divorce, their status, and whether you have access to them.
Find out how your partner can hide money and other assets
Your partner can store your family’s assets without warning you in many ways: usually, it depends on their fantasy and the desire to hide your common money. The most popular way to do that is to give the sources of benefit to their family (e.g. parents, siblings) or even friends as a gift. They can also put money on deposit accounts registered in the names of their family members. The other ways of hiding money include:
- creating fake businesses to invest money into
- cooperating with their employer to get promotion or wage raise once they are divorced
- starting a retirement plan without informing you
- decreasing the value of the real estate, business, or other property intentionally during the process of divorce
- using common money to pay the debt on a personal credit card
Review your bank accounts’ statuses and payments history
The next thing you need to gather is information on your couple’s bank accounts (deposits, credit cards, savings for retirement, etc.). This is to understand where your money is being spent, how much savings there are at your disposal now, and what you can expect to get after a divorce.
For your information, in most divorce cases, each partner gets an equal part of all assets, property, and money that the couple has. After reviewing the statuses of your bank accounts, consider getting a consultation with a manager of the bank where you store your money. They will explain the legal ways of using your family money during a divorce to support yourself and your kids.
Get professional advice
This is a universal tip for every step you may want to take during a marriage dissolution: don’t hesitate to ask for help from professionals. Starting from a lawyer to a psychotherapist and financial advisor, every individual whose job is connected to a divorce process will provide you with valuable information on how to find hidden bank accounts, stay calm and healthy, and avoid unnecessary expenditures during this tough time of your life.
Try to negotiate the money matters before going to the court
Last but not least thing you have to try to achieve is settling the agreement on money matters before you file for divorce. If you don’t have any other disputes with your partner except for assets, we suggest that you try to convince them of the necessity to do that prior to registering your case in the local clerk’s office. Otherwise, your case may be postponed and last for months instead of being finalized in weeks. Don’t forget to find out how long does it take to get divorce in Texas to know what to expect.
There is no need to create a separate agreement on your finances: once partners decide to choose an uncontested divorce option, they need to outline all issues and the ways to solve them in a single document called ‘Settlement Agreement’ and present it to their judge.
Be sure to include the information on the division of your finances there. It will be a sign for the judge that you and your partner are ready to get divorced peacefully and are not willing to harm each other economically after your marriage is dissolved.
Now you know how to act when your partner is trying to block your access to family assets, so be sure to share this post with everyone asking for ‘Is your spouse hiding money from your six things to watch guide’ to follow.