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Sneaky ways spouses can stash cash and resources

Divorce tends to bring out the worst in some people. If you are getting divorced, you might realize that your spouse may be capable of some underhanded moves designed to deprive you of your rightful share of the marital assets.

Some deceptions occur during the marriage and may have contributed to the decision to divorce. But once that decision is made, even spouses who have not been fiscally deceptive may figure they have nothing to lose now and get creative about hiding marital assets.

Their tactics might include the following:

1. Shifting assets. Taking money out of joint accounts and depositing it into individual accounts is one example of this practice.

2. Transferring assets to relatives or friends. These can be sham transactions done on paper only or can involve smaller monetary transfers via Chase Quick Pay, PayPal or Venmo that were done over time.

3. Purchasing life insurance. In some situations, life insurance policies can protect or hide marital assets.

4. Overpayments to the IRS. By overpaying federal income taxes while still married, a spouse can later get a lucrative check once they file singly.

5. Turning down raises or promotions. This may seem counterintuitive, but a divorcing spouse could ask a boss to hold off on a raise or promotion until the worker has finalized the divorce proceedings.

6. Creating fake expenses. Independent contractors and small business owners are often able to do this by inflating their expenses. This fraudulent practice reduces profits and income.

7. Hiding money in plain sight. Divorcing spouses may go on a spending spree and purchase high-dollar items like antique furniture or art that may be challenging to valuate fairly.

8. Lending family or friends cash. Sometimes, it might be a series of straw loans on paper only that reduce the marital assets accordingly. Other times, the loans are real but are only paid off once the divorce is over.

If you suspect marital assets are being fraudulently dissipated or manipulated, you should immediately inform your Germantown family law attorney so that they can take the necessary actions to preserve your share of the proceeds.

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