When it comes to divorce, both Minnesota and North Dakota are equitable distribution states in which marital property is divided between spouses in a manner that a court of law decides is fair. In these types of divorces, it is not uncommon for former spouses to hide assets from one another so that ownership of the property is not exposed to the court’s discretion. One of the many ways in which a divorce attorney can prove to be particularly beneficial is by remaining alert to the various signs that a spouse is concealing assets. This article will review some of the most common signs that a spouse is attempting to conceal assets during a divorce.
How to Determine Whether a Spouse Is Attempting to Conceal Assets
There are various kinds of behavior that can reveal a spouse is attempting to hide assets. Some signs of this activity include:
- Avoiding Questions About Finances: Spouses owe one another a duty to disclose details about finances. As a result, spouses are legally required to answer questions about the couple’s finances. Refusal to answer questions about finances is frequently motivated by an effort to hide assets.
- Complaints About Fake Hardships: Some spouses attempt to hide assets during a divorce by complaining about economic hardships, which can lead unknowing spouses to believe that there are fewer assets involved in the divorce.
- Defensive Responses: Spouses who get defensive when asked questions about their finances might be trying to hide assets.
- Financial Activity with Mystery Accounts: Statements or ATM receipts from financial organizations that a person is not familiar with are potential signs of concealing assets. Deposit stubs by a spouse into an unfamiliar account may indicate the same. These signs might be attempts by the person’s spouse to shuttle assets into secret accounts.
- Multiple Cell Phones: Spouses who have multiple cell phones could be trying to hide assets.
- Suspicious Payment of Debts: One activity that suggests concealing assets is overpaying credit card debts or paying off phony debts to friends in which the money is later returned to the individual. Also, if someone knows that he or she is going to get divorced, that individual may overpay the Internal Revenue Service in taxes and instruct that these accounts be used in the following year.
- Post Office Activity: In some cases, spouses are known to rent PO boxes to receive bank statements instead of having these documents sent to the person’s home.
- Purchasing Expensive Objects: Some spouses attempt to purchase artwork, automobiles, and other high-value objects and then under-report the value of these assets.
- Underreporting Income: Spouses might attempt to underreport their income so that courts believe that there is less to divide.
Speak with a Seasoned Divorce Attorney
If you believe that a spouse is making an effort to conceal assets, speak to a seasoned attorney who knows how to respond to these matters. Contact attorney Tracy Lyson at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys today either online or by calling 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002.