When you reflect upon all the time and effort you put into building your life and business in Texas, you might be amazed at how quickly time has passed. Does it seem like yesterday when you were a newlywed, with big dreams of launching your own company, raising a family and perhaps taking vacations from time to time? As time went on, you brought many of those plans to fruition and are glad to have clear memories of the journey to your success.
When you finally realized that your marriage was heading for an inevitable divorce, you knew you’d likely face various challenges regarding visitation with your children and division of marital property. You probably assumed, however, that everyone would play fair, and proceedings would be as swift and painless as possible since you and your spouse both want to get on with your lives. It didn’t take long for you to realize that was not the way things were panning out. Your first clue may have been when you noticed money missing from your joint bank account.
How to tell if your spouse is hiding assets
It would be nice if divorce was guaranteed to unfold with little or no stress or complications. However, this usually isn’t the case for people in situations like yours, who believe their spouses may be trying to keep them from obtaining ownership of assets that are rightfully theirs. The following list provides warning signs that may prompt you to further investigate your present circumstances:
- If money is missing from your joint bank account, it may be a sign of trouble. If suddenly your spouse has begun receiving mail attached to a separate bank account of which you were unaware, you are definitely entitled to an explanation.
- Has your spouse been paying back “loans” to friends or family members that you had no knowledge that had ever been made in the first place? This is often a sign that someone is hiding assets in divorce. A spouse hands money over to trusted third-parties to hold until a divorce is finalized. Since it is no longer in a spouse’s possession, it is not subject to division (so long as the court does not discover the trick, that is).
- Have you noticed new employee names on your company’s payroll but find it odd you have never met them? Your spouse may often do the hiring and firing for your business, but if you’re a small company, you should know most of your employees by name. It could be that your spouse is adding erroneous information to payroll records as a means of hiding assets in your divorce.
Undervalued artwork or other luxury items, disappearing computer data (or disappearing computers) and sudden purchases of high end items (that can later be resold) are other telltale signs that you may be facing a situation where your spouse is hiding assets. While you never wanted a battle in court, you also do not have to sit back and allow assets that rightfully belong to you to disappear.
Rectifying the problem
Hiding assets in divorce is illegal. You have to prove any allegations you make, however; therefore, it’s typically best to enlist investigative help to arm yourself with as much evidence as possible before addressing the matter in court.
Many Texas residents turn to experienced Board-Certified expert family law attorneys for guidance and support when a spouse refuses to play by the rules where property division is concerned.