If you are going through a divorce and splitting everything from your bank account to time with your children down the middle, it is important that you are aware of all the joint marital property and who has access to it.
On top of all the emotional stress associated with getting divorced, there are unfortunate times where one spouse will take advantage of another and cover up assets. It is fairly common for this to happen, so you should always be aware of the warning signs.
Watch for statements of accounts you are unaware of
Have you noticed strange credit card or bank statements coming in the mail for accounts that you are unfamiliar with? Even accounts from your own bank that only have your spouse’s name on them can signify that he or she is moving or hiding money.
You should have a pretty good idea of what your spouse makes, and if he or she has a W2 with reported income, it is difficult to understate income. If your spouse receives payment in cash or under the table, it is much easier to do so. If your spouse understates income, it can affect child support, alimony and how much money you get during the split.
Be on the lookout for expensive purchases
Did your spouse recently buy a new car, recreational vehicle or large piece of jewelry? This can be the perfect way for someone to spend cash and then sell the item later to get the money back. Watch for any large purchases your spouse makes right before the divorce.
Protect your property
While you must stay alert to any changes that are going on during your divorce and recognize that your spouse may take advantage of you, you should also speak to an attorney immediately after you decide to file for divorce. A lawyer can help to determine the best property division and identify where assets are.