Divorce can make spouses resort to sneaky tactics to hide and protect their most valuable possessions. Whether done as revenge or for personal gain, hiding assets in a divorce can cause trouble for everyone involved. California follows community property laws, meaning that all the assets you accumulated with your spouse during your marriage are eligible for division in the divorce. Generally, community property states will divide your assets in half equally. However, spouses may still try to hide significant valuables to ensure that their spouse cannot receive any of the benefits. The following are some common ways spouses hide assets during a divorce:
- With a secret bank account – Many spouses have joint bank accounts, but your spouse may have a separate account unknown to you where they regularly deposit money and build up personal financial wealth. You should check for any irregular withdrawals to ensure your spouse has not been siphoning off money from your accounts.
- With a business – Businesses can shield financial assets. He or she may try to put the value of the company as less than it is to ensure you do not receive as high of a percentage of the assets in the divorce.
- With valuable collectibles and antiques – A sudden interest in collecting expensive antiques, artwork, or cars can be a stealthy way to hide assets. During the divorce, your partner may claim these items are worth less than they are, only to sell them after the divorce at a higher price.
- With gifts – A common way to hide assets is to gift them to a close friend or relative. Your spouse may give away expensive jewelry or furniture to a friend who will hold onto it until after the divorce. If you notice any significant assets left out during your divorce proceedings, you should try to find where they have gone.
- With a safety deposit box – A safety deposit box is a popular way for spouses to hide cash. Your spouse may leave large amounts of cash there to collect later without your knowledge.