Going through a divorce can be stressful, frustrating, mentally taxing, and overwhelming. When you think that your spouse may be hiding assets, it can make the divorce process even more complicated and challenging.
No one wants to believe that their spouse has been misleading them. However, hiding assets happens more often than you might think in divorce cases, especially high asset divorces.
Is hiding assets illegal in a Texas divorce?
According to Texas Family Code Section 7.009, the state of Texas refers to hidden assets as “fraud on the community.” Therefore, if you suspect that your spouse has hidden assets, they have committed a crime and may suffer consequences because of it. In addition, due to their behavior, the outcome of your divorce may be different than it would have been if the assets were never hidden. If you believe that your spouse is hiding assets from you during your divorce, you should not let them get away with this. Instead, reach out to a San Antonio divorce lawyer right away to ensure that they do not walk away with more property and assets than they should.
Where do people hide assets?
The assets that your spouse has hid may be found in investments, bank accounts, expensive cars, designer jewelry, or even real estate that you were not aware of. People can get very creative when hiding assets that they do not want to be found. However, they are usually always found one way or another. One of the most common methods that our San Antonio divorce lawyers may use to find hidden assets is to hire professional investigators who have the necessary experience, skills, and knowledge to locate the hidden assets as quickly as possible. With a divorce attorney from Grable Grimshaw by your side, all your spouse’s hidden assets will be uncovered and included in the marital property division process.
Five signs that may indicate that your spouse is hiding assets
If you think that your spouse may be hiding assets but are not completely sure, there are several signs that you can look out for. Here are five common ones:
- They are constantly receiving and paying bills or debts that you do not know about.
- You notice them continuously changing passwords to bank accounts, credit card accounts, and other important accounts.
- They open a P.O. box without your name on it.
- You notice expensive and unexplained purchases on your bank account statement.
- They frequently transfer or withdraw large amounts of money from bank accounts with no reasoning.
Many people do not realize that there are red flags when it comes to hiding assets before or during a divorce. They typically let things slide under the rug without thinking that there may be an explanation behind these certain behaviors. If you have noticed any suspicious behaviors by your spouse recently or in the past, it is critical that you let your attorney know. While there may be nothing to worry about, it is better to be on the safe side when it comes to hidden assets.
Where should I look to discover hidden assets in San Antonio, TX?
There are various locations that your lawyer may recommend looking to discover potential hidden assets. Some of these locations include:
- Tax returns: Even though your spouse may lie to you about hidden assets, they may be less likely to lie to the government. You can request copies of your spouse’s tax returns for the past few years and see if there is any information that shows that there may be hidden assets.
- Bank accounts: Next, you should look over your spouse’s bank account and saving account statements. If you share joint accounts, you should take a look at the statements for those accounts as well. Bank accounts are beneficial to showing withdrawals, deposits, income, and bills. Therefore, you may be able to find information on these statements that points to unexplained purchases or assets.
- Credit cards: Just like bank account statements, your spouse’s credit card statements can give you a detailed look at what they may be putting their money toward. If you notice any purchases that you do not know about, this may be an alarming sign that there are some assets that you are unaware of.
- Loans: If your spouse has recently or in the past filled out an application for a real estate property, business, or anything else, you can look at these applications to see what they put down as their assets. Most loan applications require that you list your assets. Therefore, you should be able to easily find this information.
- Business records and documents: If you and your spouse are business owners going through a divorce, you can check to see if there have been any loans taken out in your business’s name. Unfortunately, this usually requires professional help from an investigator or forensic accountant. However, it is worth considering as many spouses choose to hide assets this way.
How can I prove my spouse is hiding assets?
There are certain steps that you can take to prove that your spouse is hiding assets during your divorce, which include:
- Gather evidence that clearly shows that they are hiding assets: Instead of accusing your spouse of hiding assets, you should start gathering evidence that shows that they are. If you start accusing, they may try to hurry and cover their tracks. Therefore, you should take this time to quietly find any evidence showing that your spouse is hiding assets. This may include tax returns, bank account statements, photos, videos, bills, business documents, family testimonies, and more.
- Find and speak with a divorce lawyer who knows the ins and outs of these issues: If you find information that shows warning signs that there may be hidden assets, you should begin looking for a divorce lawyer who will help you with this issue. Your attorney will know what to do and how to assist you. This may include hiring investigators, accountants, and forensic experts to find the hidden assets.
- Request legal protection over your assets: Some people may need to file a temporary order to protect their assets. Not everyone needs these types of orders. However, if you fear that your spouse may try to sell assets or property before the divorce is finalized, it may be a good option to request a temporary order. Once you have this temporary order in place, you may be able to use it as proof that you believed that your spouse was or could be hiding assets.
Hiding assets from your spouse before or during a divorce is against the law. If you live in San Antonio and believe that your spouse is hiding assets from you, it is time to seek the help of an experienced and skilled divorce attorney from Grable Grimshaw PLLC. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule an appointment today.