Is your ex hiding assets in a divorce?

1/31/2022

As you prepare to move on in life without your spouse, you have a right to protect your financial interests in court. Especially regarding the future care and financial needs of your children, it’s understandable that you want to make sure you receive a fair settlement. Texas operates under community property guidelines in a divorce, which means family court judges typically divide marital property 50/50 between spouses.

In order for the judge to be able to make fair decisions, both spouses must fully disclose all assets and liabilities. If you think that your ex is trying to gain the upper hand and beat the system by hiding assets, you could have a challenging legal problem on your hands. It’s important to know how to uncover a hidden asset scheme and where to seek outside support, as needed.

Did your ex recently open bank accounts for your kids?

While opening a bank account for a minor as a parent is a seemingly benign action, it might not be so benign in a divorce. A spouse who suddenly opens a juvenile account with his or her name on it as the acting parent gains full access to the account to make withdrawals or deposits.

It is possible that your ex might be using your child’s account to stash cash or to transfer funds to a separate account that you know nothing about. If you inquire about money that is moving in and out of a bank account or missing funds that you thought should have been deposited in a jointly owned account, and you are met with confrontation or a defensive attitude by your spouse, it might be a red flag, suggesting a hidden asset problem.

Are there paychecks or bonuses missing?

Perhaps your spouse’s paycheck is a normal addition to your jointly owned bank account through direct deposit. If this suddenly stops occurring, you might want to inquire about the change. Also, if you were expecting your spouse to get a bonus in pay and it didn’t arrive, it’s possible that he or she has deferred the payment until you finalize your divorce to keep the funds from being included as marital property during division proceedings.

Undervaluing artwork or other items is another hidden asset trick

You can’t stop your spouse from purchasing items during the interim between filing for divorce and obtaining a final decree. However, if he or she has purchased big-ticket items, such as new artwork, jewelry, or other assets, and you think it has an understated value during disclosure, it’s worth bringing the issue to the court’s attention.
Perjury is a serious crime. If your ex is lying about the value of assets or is hiding money that you’re entitled to receive in a divorce, he or she may be committing perjury, in which case the judge overseeing your case may rule him or her in contempt.

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