It is illegal for your spouse to hide assets from you during a divorce. When the court asks what assets you own, they expect full disclosure. This is the only way they can fairly decide how to split those assets.
You may assume that your spouse would never break the law, never lie about assets and never try to hide them from you — even while getting divorced. However, studies have found that most people actually do hide financial information from their partner. Here are some of the key findings from one such study:
- 58% of people asked admitted to hiding cash. That’s almost three out of every five people.
- 54% said that they had made “minor” purchases, which they then hid or concealed.
- Roughly a third (34%) said they had lied to their partner about money, finances or debt.
- Almost the same amount (30%) hid bills and financial statements.
And these were people who were in relationships and wanted to be. They had their own reasons for lying — maybe they thought their spouse would be angry about a purchase, for instance, or concerned about their debt — but they were still together.
If you’re going through a divorce, does that make it even more likely that your spouse will lie or hide assets? Your relationship is about to end forever. He or she may want to get as much as possible out of that relationship, financially speaking, and may decide to use any actions to do it. You have to be aware of this possibility.
As noted, though, hiding assets is illegal. It is unfair to you and it goes against what the court wants you to do as you end your relationship. Your rights are being violated if your spouse does this, regardless of the mental gymnastics they do to convince themselves that it is a good idea.
That’s why it’s so important to work with an experienced legal team. You need to know what warning signs to look out for, what indicators you can spot that assets are being hidden and what legal options you have if it turns out that your spouse has not fully disclosed everything properly.