It’s difficult to separate and end a marriage with the person you may have considered a life partner. As you face the emotional, physical and mental toll that divorce can take on a person, you must also think of the financial implications and your future. Statistics show that over 30 percent of married individuals with combined assets have lied about money during some part of the marriage or the divorce process.
Lying during a divorce proceeding is illegal. If you are concerned that your soon-to-be-former spouse is hiding property in order to cheat you of money you deserve, watch for the following five warning signs:
1. Your spouse uses a post office box.
If all the bills and financial statements are sent to your home address, it’s likely that you will come across something your spouse is trying to hide. That’s why many people will start to use a post office box rather than a home address to hide documents and statements that may seem suspicious.
2. Your spouse buys expensive items.
Is your husband or wife buying expensive things that you can’t afford? Such expensive items may be indicative of other hidden purchases or assets.
3. Your spouse refuses to give passwords or access to financial accounts.
It’s always a good idea to stay in the loop about your family’s finances. If you find that your spouse is reticent about giving you access or passwords to joint accounts, this may be a sign that financial facts are being obscured. If your name is on the account, you should always have access to this information.
4. Your spouse claims your shared computer has crashed.
If all your finances are handled on one computer or through one computer program, and your spouse informs you that the program has crashed or failed and all your data is gone, he or she may be hiding financial information from you. Most programs should have some type of backup that allows you to save data and access it even if the program crashes.
5. Your spouse visits countries with relaxed banking laws.
Is your spouse suddenly taking luxury vacation or visiting countries like St. Lucia that have relaxed banking laws? Trips of this sort may signal that money is being hidden, particularly right around the time of a divorce.
Protecting yourself financially during a divorce is one of the most important things you can do. Individuals who believe their spouses are hiding property or assets are advised to speak to a knowledgeable attorney.