5 Places Your Spouse Might Be Hiding Money During Divorce

Do you worry that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is hiding money during the divorce? If so, you're not alone. Many spouses in your position face the same challenge, which could lead to them not getting the property division they deserve. 

One thing that can help you and your legal team find any hidden assets is to understand the likely ways that divorcing spouses often try to hide money. Here are five sample locations and how they can be found. 

1. Safe Deposit Boxes

Literal cash, documents like deeds and titles, and small collectibles fit easily into many safe deposit boxes for safekeeping. You may find traces of such a box by examining recurring expenses and receipts from institutions that offer these services.

2. Overpaid Taxes

It may seem counterintuitive, but a spouse can hide cash by sending it to the IRS or state tax agency as a tax prepayment. A spouse who files separately can overpay taxes and then ask for full refunds after the divorce is done. Overpaid taxes can also be moved forward by applying refunds to future taxes. Look for large payments that don't match up with your spouse's historical tax levels. 

3. Expensive Goods

Another way to hide money is to use it to buy something that's less obvious than cash. This could be an item, such as artwork or a watch, that doesn't seem expensive but is worth more than you think. Another method is to buy expensive goods that are kept in places you rarely go, like the spouse's office or vehicle. Analyze your properties with a careful eye to find any recent changes. 

4. Other People's Accounts

Gifting and transferring money or assets to other people is a common way to hide things. This is most often spotted by noting large transfers or withdrawals of cash in the months before the divorce process began. Be sure to check your children's credit history as well for unusual activity and inquiries. 

5. A Small Business

If your spouse is involved with any small business or partnership, you should go over its records with a fine-tooth comb. There are many ways to hide personal assets in any size business, including operating at an intentional loss, transferring personal assets to the business, and deferring compensation for services provided. Evaluating a business for hidden assets may require professional help.

Want to know more about the common ways that spouses hide assets? Start by meeting with a divorce attorney in your state. With their expertise and trained eye, they will help you ensure that your ex doesn't cheat you out of what you deserve as your marriage ends. 

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