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Virginia property division: Is your spouse hiding assets?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2020 | Firm News |

You’ve likely heard the saying that all is fair in love and war. Marriage can sometimes feel like both. If you’re one of many Virginia spouses who are contemplating divorce, you might relate to others in the past who determined their relationships were more like war than love, so they decided to move in life without their spouse. The problem is, not everyone plays fair in divorce.

When you and your spouse navigate property division proceedings, you’re both supposed to agree to full disclosure. This means each of you must be willing to provide all pertinent information regarding your assets and liabilities. Do you think your spouse is trying to beat the system? How can you know for sure? Hiding assets in divorce is illegal, and the court typically doesn’t look favorably upon someone willing to commit such acts to try to gain the upper hand in a divorce.

Issues that warrant concern

Perhaps, you don’t trust your spouse because infidelity is a causal factor in your divorce. It’s important to determine if you truly have a hidden asset problem on your hands or whether your mistrust is the source of your suspicions. The following list includes issues that often suggest a hidden asset problem:

  • Is your spouse’s name on bank accounts for minors in your household? Moving money in and out of a child’s account is a common means many spouses use to hide assets in divorce.
  • Was your spouse expecting bonus pay or other income, but delayed it? He or she may have asked an employer to do so until you finalize your divorce, which might be part of a hidden asset scheme.
  • Have you reviewed your jointly owned bank account statements lately? Are there withdrawals you were not aware your spouse was planning to make — this warrants further inquiry, for sure.
  • Has your spouse overpaid the balance on a credit card or on income tax return forms? Spouses hiding assets often use this trick because they can eventually get the money back as a refund.
  • Did your spouse give money to someone, claiming to be issuing or paying back a loan? Spouses often find family members or friends who agree to hold money for them until after their divorce is final.

There are many other ways of hiding assets in divorce. It’s never a good idea to do so because the chance of someone catching you is far greater than it is that you will get away with such a scheme. If you believe you have evidence to show the court that your spouse is trying to hide assets so you get the short end of the stick in property division proceedings, you can reach out for additional support to help you resolve the problem.

What types of support?

Many Virginia spouses hire private investigators when they suspect their spouses are hiding assets in divorce. Others rely on assistance from experienced family law attorneys to help them bring the matter to the court’s attention.