Even though some spouses stay married forever, many marriages end in divorce. While the divorce rate has dropped in recent years, marriages end every day. If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse or suspect your partner has the same idea, you must think about receiving your fair share of marital property.
Unfortunately, getting your due may be more difficult than you think. That is, your spouse may hide assets. Put simply, if you do not know wealth exists, you probably cannot pursue an ownership interest in it. While keeping track of finances is an effective strategy, spouses occasionally hide assets. Here are four places your spouse may stow wealth until after your divorce:
1. With the IRS
In many marriages, one spouse takes care of the taxes. If IRS forms drive you crazy, letting your partner handle tax reporting and paying may not be a bad idea. Nevertheless, your partner may choose to apply a pre-divorce refund to the following year’s tax obligation. After you finalize your divorce, he or she may be able to ask for a huge refund. In reality, though, part of that refund should be yours.
2. In separate accounts
There is nothing wrong with maintaining separate bank accounts. In fact, doing so may improve your marriage. You do not, though, want your partner to move marital funds into a separate account without your knowledge or permission.
3. Through deferred commissions
You and your partner both probably contribute to marital expenses. If your spouse receives regular commissions, you may use the extra income for a variety of things. Still, it may be possible for your spouse to defer commissions until after your divorce concludes. If your partner chooses this route, you may not receive your rightful share.
4. With imaginary expenses
Every couple has certain monthly expenses, including utilities and groceries. Before your divorce, though, you must watch for imaginary expenses to suddenly arise. For example, your partner may inform you that he or she needs to devote additional funds to a new business venture. While the proposition may be entirely legitimate, your spouse could be using fake expenses to divert marital funds.
Even though your marriage may be coming to an end, you want to work toward a successful financial future. By watching for places where your spouse may hide assets, you can likely ensure you receive your fair share of marital wealth. On the other hand, if you suspect your partner is doing something improper, you may want to consult with a forensic accountant before finalizing your divorce.