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What to do if you think your spouse is hiding assets

| May 15, 2021 | Blog |

The division of assets can be one of the most contentious aspects of any divorce. Unfortunately, some people attempt to hide assets from their spouses to avoid equitable distribution during divorce proceedings.

If you think your spouse is attempting to hide assets, there are steps you can take to address the situation.

Be aware of common tactics

Washington is a community property state. In most cases, any property that you and your spouse acquire during the marriage is subject to equal division during divorce. To effectively determine if your spouse is hiding assets it is important to be aware of common strategies spouses use to hide assets:

  • Does not disclose all earned income
  • Exploits spouse’s lack of knowledge concerning the family finances
  • Overpays taxes to collect a refund after the divorce
  • Hides large amounts of cash
  • Creates fraudulent debts
  • Gives cash to another person to hold on to until after the divorce
  • Purchases big-ticket items and then claims a lower value

Signs your spouse may be hiding assets

Without careful investigation, it can be difficult to confirm that a spouse is hiding assets. However, there are signs you can watch for:

  • You stop receiving copies of financial statements
  • Unexplained increase in expenses
  • Spouse fails to collect a bonus or defers salary
  • Unusual bills or reoccurring charges
  • Transfers from your joint bank account to a newly opened account

If the court determines your spouse has been hiding assets, it may award you a larger share of the marital assets to offset your spouse’s actions.