After you discuss a divorce with your spouse, don’t be surprised if their assets disappear. It’s not unusual for Pennsylvania residents to hide their assets even before marrying. As a partnership between two adults, however, it’s your legal responsibility to disclose your assets within a marriage. No matter why the marriage is ending, both of you deserve to have an equitable division of your estate. This can only be done once all assets are disclosed and expressed to both sides.
Intentionally saying nothing
Your suspicions about hidden assets may start with things your spouse keeps from you. In a divorce, it’s the court’s objective to find and account for all of the assets you own. However, the court cannot divide something that it can’t prove exists. Your work is to list all of the assets you and your spouse own. You then want to investigate, with questions and research, into what your spouse might be refusing to say.
Keeping untraceable cash
Cash gives your spouse a form of money that’s difficult to trace without a bank. If undisclosed, it’s near impossible to find where such money is deposited during a divorce. Hidden cash won’t be found if you don’t realize it as a common option. Don’t be surprised if you find nothing in your home safe. Cash, when hidden from a divorce, is often found in safe deposit boxes.
Hiding business assets in deductions
Businesses can legally own both tangible and intangible property. Assessing what you know your spouse’s business has against their tax filing is where you start. Though you don’t know about other real estate, for example, it likely exists if you find larger than expected property tax deductions. To build a case, start comparing what you know exists to what was actually filed.
Specific evidence at this point is not as important as the red flags. You may be able to pursue any discrepancies with the support of a judge. Reasonable errors in financial documents are likely to reveal that your spouse is not being truthful.