Now you see it, now you don't: Is your spouse hiding money?

Since the day you married your soon-to-be-former spouse, you've grown accustomed to a particular lifestyle, one that you worked hard to achieve and prefer to keep once your divorce is finalized. Many New York residents are currently facing similar situations; in fact, some are engaged in contentious battles over finances, which can be stressful and can cause delays toward settlements. For some, the central focus is merely a matter of asset distribution. New York, like most other states, distributes marital property equitably in divorce.

This means that although everything may not be divided 50/50, the court will determine how best to proceed to split assets fairly between both parties. Some people really have their work cut out for them in court when they suspect their spouses of illicitly transferring assets to keep them out of the property division pool.

Is that legal?

Not only is it sneaky and (some would say) underhanded to try to hide assets so a spouse cannot get hands on what's rightfully his or hers, it is also against the law. Therefore, if you even remotely suspect it as a possibility in your own divorce, you may want to learn more about how to recognize the warning signs. Any of the following situations are enough to beckon further investigation:

  • If you notice bank statements arriving in the mail with unfamiliar account numbers, it may be a sign that your spouse has opened a new account without your knowledge.
  • Any ATM receipt that comes from a bank you do not typically patronize is another sign that something may not be on the up-and-up.
  • If you ask your spouse for an explanation and are not satisfied with the answer he or she gives, you may want to do a little more digging for facts.
  • A big red flag occurs when a spouse makes a substantial overpayment on a credit card balance, such as paying thousands of dollars on debt that only amounts to hundreds.
  • Electronic transfers of which you were unaware is another major signal that your spouse may be hiding assets.

It's one thing to know how to recognize signs that your former partner in marriage is trying to hide money so you don't get it in divorce, it's quite another to know what to do to rectify such a situation. Other New York residents have enlisted outside support to help them act swiftly and aggressively when such problems arise.

A family law attorney knows how to investigate such matters and also knows just what needs to be done to bring it to the court's attention. If you're proactive and assertive in response to apparent evidence, you can protect your rights and possibly avert a harmful financial scam.

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