Most women don’t want to believe that their husbands would stoop to such malicious and unscrupulous activity as concealing assets from them, but it happens all the time. Whether in response to you stating a desire to get a divorce, or as a precursor to your husband asking you for a divorce, there are numerous ways he could attempt to hide funds in order to minimize his financial obligations to you.
Below we have detailed seven red flags that could indicate your husband is attempting to conceal assets. Remember, if you have suspicions that he is purposefully hiding assets, you need to move quickly to expose this deceit and ensure a fair divorce settlement, so call Florida Women's Law Group today.
1) Sudden decrease in salary
Pay close attention to your husband’s salary. If you see a sudden decrease in his take home pay, or perhaps he does not receive an expected bonus, you should be very suspicious. This could be a sign that he has asked his employer to defer his salary, bonuses, or stock options in order to push back the date he will receive these assets to after your divorce is finalized.
2) Phony debt repayment to family or friends
Another red flag that your husband is hiding assets is if he suddenly pays significant amounts of money to close family or friends under the guise of repaying an outstanding debt that you were not aware of, or even a debt that you were aware of. This could signal a ploy to transfer assets to a trusted person who will transfer all or some of the assets back to your husband after the divorce.
3) Abrupt defensiveness or secretiveness about finances
Pay attention to your husband’s attitude with regard to finances. Has he abruptly become very defensive when you ask him questions about money? Is he acting in a manner that is suspicious or out of the ordinary? You probably know you husband better than almost anyone, so any changes in his behavior or attitude on the topic of money could be a major indicator that he is up to no good and could be concealing assets.
4) Overpaid taxes
Take a close look at your husband’s tax returns. A common asset-hiding tactic is to overpay one’s taxes with the knowledge that the overpaid sum will be refunded by the government later. Significant overpayment of taxes is a major red flag.
5) Suspicious business activity
There are many ways your husband could seek to hide assets if he owns a business. This is known as “cooking the books.” An example of suspicious business activity could include making payments to nonexistent employees or paying a friend for “services rendered,” when they did not actually do any work for his company.
6) Purchasing material assets that could be undervalued
Your husband may seek to hide his wealth in material goods that are easy to undervalue. For example, he could purchase expensive antiques and use them as office furniture at work, or place them somewhere else inconspicuous. If you notice your husband making seemingly frivolous purchases, pay close attention to what these items are and make sure you know their potential worth.
7) Delaying long-term business contracts
If your husband has the opportunity to sign a lucrative long-term business contract, but he is inexplicably putting it off, this may be another red flag that he is trying to minimize the assets he will have to disclose for your divorce.
The most important things you can do to combat these asset-hiding practices is be vigilant, and hire an experienced divorce attorney as soon as you suspect your husband is being dishonest about finances. If you notice any of the aforementioned red flags or any other suspicious activity that leads you to believe you husband is attempting to hide assets from you, please contact Florida Women's Law Group today so we can help ensure you will receive a fair divorce settlement.