Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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Warning signs that a spouse is hiding property

If you suspect your marriage is circling the drain, you may have concerns about how your property will be divided if you decide to divorce. You may also have suspicions that your spouse may be trying to set aside funds or property to have on hand in the event of a split, and those suspicions may be spot-on.

There is a number of reasons spouses hide assets from one another, but women are more frequent victims of this type of behavior. Furthermore, many who are tricked by their spouse in this manner are too embarrassed or ashamed of getting taken by someone who was supposed to love them, and they don't always pursue appropriate legal action to attempt to get what they deserve. The first step in getting ahead of the game is identifying the signs that your spouse is hiding property, which may include the following activities.

Limiting your access to bank accounts and credit cards

If your spouse keeps all bank accounts and associated records solely in his or her name, consider this a serious red flag. Many married people who are planning to divorce mistakenly believe that they can hide income by creating a bank account without a spouse's name on it.

Taking trips to countries with relaxed banking laws

The old "Swiss bank account" trick is more than just the stuff of movies. If your spouse suddenly begins taking overseas trips to unusual locations, consider this a sign that something may well be amiss.

Selling substantial property to friends or family members

If your spouse is, in fact, plotting to leave you, he or she may involve trusted friends or family members in the attempt to do so. A common method of doing so and trying to minimize one's assets is to sell the assets, whether they be boats, vehicles or others, to someone who may turn around and sell them back post-divorce.

Using a post office box

If your spouse has suddenly set up a post office box, it begs the question, what does he or she not want delivered to your shared home. Maybe your spouse does not want you checking out bank statements or perhaps prefer that you do not see certain bills come in.

These are just a few of the signs that your spouse is attempting to hide money from you, but if you suspect this is occurring, do not wait until it is too late. Consider involving an attorney who can get to the bottom of the matter and make sure your assets are not being snatched out from under you. 

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