If you are planning to divorce your spouse, you want to receive as much of the marital estate as possible. Fortunately, Virginia law entitles you to an equitable share of everything you and your spouse own.
To obtain an unfair financial advantage or just to complicate matters for you, your spouse may try to hide assets. After all, if your husband or wife can deceive you and the court, he or she may not have to give you everything you deserve. If you notice any of the following signs, your spouse may be trying to hide assets.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with asking your spouse to handle marital finances, too much secrecy should concern you. If your spouse refuses to allow you access to bank accounts or financial documents, he or she may be trying to cheat you.
Even though there are many ways to hide assets in the lead-up to a divorce, unscrupulous spouses often make sham loans to family members, friends or business associates. If your spouse does this, he or she may plan on collecting repayment after your divorce is over.
Just as your spouse may make bogus loans, he or she may buy items that do not make much sense. If you have no interest in these items, you may give them to him or her. This, of course, depletes the marital estate of cash while unfairly enriching your husband or wife.
Hiding assets has consequences for both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, so you must work diligently to find missing wealth. Scrutinizing your spouse’s purchases, loans and secrecy may help you level the playing field.