Before embarking on snooping through your spouses private emails, financial statements, or listening in to their voicemails, cloning their phone etc it is important to be aware that there could be serious legal ramifications.

That being said we shall now proceed.

Typically the partner that handles the finances in the relationship is in the perfect position to hide assets and additional income. It is surprisingly easy to hide assets from someone that has no idea what they co-own.

Ideally both partners should take an active interest in investing, creating and maintaining a stable income and accumulating assets. Working side by side as a team will make your finances stronger and reduce any potential money worries as you are both on top of things and have nothing is hidden and you reduce the chances of the unknown.

Sadly, all too often we find ourselves on the losing side of a divorce and having no idea what we own or where it is. Thankfully, it is important that you realise that you are not alone and we at bit divorce are here to discreetly help you every step of the way.

Now let’s get to the more interesting part of this article, hiding assets!

Red flags

A red flag is an early warning sign that something is wrong and doesn’t quite add up, you feel you are being purposely kept in the dark about something.

Early warning signs to look our for that money, income or assets are potentially being hidden from you are … red flags.

  • Bank and other financial statements are no longer being delivered to your home address. This includes pension statements.
  • Your spouse’s salary suddenly decreases. This includes commissions and bonuses.
  • Overpayments. Intentional overpayments to “creditors” or friends that can later be refunded.
  • Money transferred into a family member or Child’s name.
  • New Employees. If your spouse owns a business there are many methods available to them to have increased costs and less profit. Hiring a family member, a friend or even ghost employees. This is done to reduce the profit margin and subsequently the business is valued for less.
  • Defensive behaviour.
  • Secretive behaviour.

Now that you are aware that money and assets are potentially being hidden from you, you will need to know where to look.

Obviously it would be marvellous if you can simply speak to your accountant or go through your old tax folders in the attic. Often this is not possible or you might hit a stone wall with the accountant preferring to only deal directly with your partner. Some assets you think you may have may already have been sold or swapped for another more portable asset etc.

One of the best places to start looking in order to have a true idea of your assets and liabilities is a recent credit card and loan application. People tend to be far more generous in their income reporting on credit or loan applications than they are with their tax return.

The more information you can obtain before a divorce the better. Knowledge is power. The more you know before your divorce the less chances are an asset will slip the net and miraculously disappear.

Take pictures of assets, copies of account statements and important numbers. What stocks and Bonds do you own and where are they held? Do you have money tied up in start-ups? Maybe you own some valuable domain names and online businesses?

This becomes even more difficult if you have multiple homes, businesses, art held in banks vaults, watches and jewellery and finally the next level of asset wealth digital currencies. For example Bitcoin and Altcoins. Do any of these assets produce a monthly income and if so where is that money going?

Appraisal

Every asset you know about or uncover will need to be discreetly appraised. The more prepared you are the better.

Summary

Simply put, the more assets and wealth you have, the more important it becomes to hire an experienced lawyer and subsequently a reliable appraiser and potentially a forensic accountant.

Thank you and we hope that you enjoyed reading this article and we would be very grateful if you would share our article with your friends

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