A divorce can be messy even if your spouse is open and honest with you about his or her assets. Unfortunately, many people in California try to conceal their assets during a divorce to avoid having to divide everything with an ex.
California is one of the few community property states, meaning the courts will divide all marital property equally (50/50) in a divorce. This law could motivate your spouse to hide assets. If you notice any of the following signs during a divorce, you may be going up against a dishonest spouse.
Less transparency with finances
Your spouse opening his or her own bank account, having financial statements mailed to a new address or otherwise becoming more secretive about financial matters could be a sign of hidden assets. Although it is normal for a divorcing couple to separate their finances, excessive secrecy during the process could be a bad sign.
If your spouse complains of not having a lot of money, yet his or her lifestyle suggests otherwise, your spouse could be hiding assets. The National Endowment for Financial Education finds 41% of couples who combine their finances admit to financially deceiving their spouses. Keep an eye out for signs your spouse could be lying, such as a new car or expensive clothes.
If you and your spouse own a business together and he/she takes over total control of the books, it could be a sign of deceit. Your spouse may be trying to reduce the value of the business before the divorce. Another red flag could be if your spouse has 100% control over shared bank accounts, online financial profiles, retirement funds, savings accounts, etc.
One of the most common places for a spouse to hide assets during a divorce is an offshore account. Offshore accounts in foreign places often have greater privacy, making them more difficult to discover. Look out for any international travel or activities leading up to a divorce.