Signs that your partner might be hiding marital assets-250

Signs that your partner might be hiding marital assets

Information verified correct on December 6th, 2016

Is your partner hiding the goods? Five signs that your partner could be hiding assets from you.

Hiding marital assets could be due to small or big issues. In 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported how couples hide money in secret places. It ranged from small money boxes to full-on brokerage accounts that could accumulate money in secret. Big or small, what are the five signs you need to be looking out for when it comes hiding marital assets?

1 - Secretive financial behaviour

If your partner has suddenly become very secretive about financial matters and insists on privacy, something could be wrong. This is especially true when it is layered over already sticky domestic situations between the two partners.

2 - Not accepting financial opportunities

Strange as it might seem, but many partners will purposefully delay bonuses, promotions and financial deals in times of domestic instability. This is to keep the new income sources from appearing in any divorce settlements that might be coming up.

3 - Where do these expenses come from?

Partners will often create fake or dummy expenses so that when their bank accounts are gone through, it looks like ‘normal’ expenses. In the meanwhile, these fake expenses is actually money that is purposed into a ‘secret’ bank account, friend, or company. It’s an effective of way of hiding money that shows up in your joint statements or shared bank accounts. The money sort of acts under a pseudonym.

4 - Sophisticated transfers

Many partners will slowly but surely build up a financial buffer that is for their own private use when things go sour. This can include transferring and buying stock in other holding companies or friends businesses and not telling the partner about it.

5 - Secretive communication behaviour

Admittedly, this one can be allocated to things like affairs as well. But, the two very often go hand in hand. Secretive communication can include obsessive behaviour when it comes to maintaining passwords and handling emails and post mail. This can extend to long trips that don't really make sense within the context of your partner's professional career.


What can you do about it?

If you suspect your partner might be hiding marital assets from you, you can follow the following steps to take action.

Have a heart-to-heart

This might not seem like the most fruitful way to uncover fraudulent behaviour, but it will help you keep your side clean. When you first give honesty a go, you've got your foundations for defence sorted.

Keep your eyes peeled

If you see any bills, paperwork or financial calls that don't match your partner's usual professional discussions, follow it up with a simple Google search.

Bring it all forward

You can create a space where both partners need to bring all financial records to light. These can be presented to an auditor attorney firm at regular intervals. This will slowly bring forth any hidden transactions or financial activity.

In Australia, "the Family Law Act requires full and frank disclosure of the financial affairs of both partners who have to swear an oath and set out a complete statement of income, expenses, assets, financial resources, and liabilities.", reports Findlaw Australia. With these measures in place, we're trusting the signs can be turned into facts. And maybe there can even come some good out of partners that have been hiding marital assets!

Shirley Liu

Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She is currently studying a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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