For spouses thinking about divorce, you are likely thinking about a million little things. However, a big part of your future will be your finances, which begins now, during your marriage because your marital estate is what will be split to start both of your individual lives. And, if your spouse is hiding assets, it will be much harder for you to start your new life on solid financial footing, which is why it is so important to find out now, if they are hiding assets.
Is it that common?
Hiding assets and financial infidelity is surprisingly common. According to some studies, as much as 30% of couples in the United States experience it, and it leads about 10% of them to divorce.
Why spouses hide assets will vary based on the spouse. If they are planning on divorcing you, they may be hiding assets in anticipation of that divorce. They want to gain an upper hand in that divorce. However, hiding assets may be for different reasons as well, like they simply do not trust their spouse. It could also be a sign they are not fully invested in the marriage, are acting in their own self-interest and are not working toward shared financial objectives and goals.
The red flags and what to do
Luckily, rarely can spouses fully hide assets without showing you red flags. Check the mail periodically, especially at the beginning, middle and end of the month when Suffolk County financial statements usually come in.
Look for statements from banks and financial institutions that you do not recognize. Look at these statements, and make sure you know about the accounts and funds in them. Be on the lookout for accounts and funds that you do not know about, like secret investments and bank and credit card accounts.
Look for changes in their spending and odd financial behaviors. This usually takes the form of unexplained large or periodic withdrawals. If the explanations do not make sense, that too may be a sign of hiding assets.
Financial secrecy is another huge red flag. If your spouse refuses to share your financial information with you or is evasive. If they do not want to give you access to accounts, hides documents or keep your financial records out of reach; these are all red flags.
What to do
You may need a Long Island, New York, forensic accountant to understand the full extent of spouse’s deception. However, knowing that there is a deception is the first step.