Assets of divorcing couples in the state of Massachusetts are divided equitably. Equitable division means a fair split, not a 50/50 division. How these assets are divided will depend on different factors. During divorce, some spouses may try to hide their assets from their spouses in different ways. They may overpay taxes, so they can get a tax refund the next year, ask to delay a commission, raise, or promotion at work until the divorce is finalized, or transfer assets to another account the other spouse was not aware of. Sometimes, these assets may be transferred to a family member or friend. If you are worried about your spouse not divulging some assets, you should get legal help from an experienced divorce attorney.
During divorce, spouses must disclose all their assets, so hiding them is not legal. Courts may hold a spouse who hides assets in contempt for their actions. This spouse may be ordered to reveal the hidden assets and the other spouse may be provided with their fair share of these assets or even more.
How to Know Your Spouse is Hiding Assets
Even if your marriage is ending, you may still think the best about your spouse. But some activity might mean they are hiding assets. Below are possible signs to watch out for:
- Secrecy. A spouse who is hiding assets may be secretive about monetary details, delete or destroy financial documents, and change online account passwords.
- Strange financial transactions. Your spouse may be hiding assets if they are transferring money to unknown accounts, withdrawing considerable cash, or engaging in other strange transactions.
- Missing valuables. Your spouse may hide valuable property like artwork or jewelry before a divorce, so they cannot share it with you.
- Unusual business practices. Sudden and strange declines in business income or expenses can indicate that your spouse is hiding assets through the business they run.
Can You Recover Hidden Assets?
To locate and recover any assets your spouse may be hiding, you need the assistance of a professional. A lawyer can handle the legal aspects of this matter. A forensic account can review the accounts of your spouse to find suspicious activity or transfers.
After your attorney has located all assets and categorized them as marital assets, they should be divided equitably between you and your spouse. This includes property or assets acquired during your marriage. Meanwhile, separate assets such as inheritances, property acquired before your marriage, and gifts will not be divided equitably.