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What are common ways for a spouse to hide assets?

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2022 | Property Division |

When going through divorce, many couples will want to keep as many of their joint assets as possible. They will usually want to avoid giving their spouse anything of theirs, too.

This can lead in some cases to a spouse attempting to hide their assets. How do they typically attempt to do this?

Passively hidden assets

First, there are two different ways in which a spouse may hide assets: active methods and passive methods. Each carries repercussions depending on the circumstances, but active attempts at hiding assets will always net bigger penalties.

Forbes discusses some of the most common passively hidden assets. These are assets that one spouse will often forget about without the other spouse having to do anything to hide them. They include things like country club memberships or airline mileage, i.e. things that most people do not think about in their day-to-day life.

When a spouse hides these assets, they simply do so by refusing to remind their soon-to-be ex that these assets exist. They may attempt to get airline points switched to their card, or may cancel any memberships before it comes to light.

Actively hidden assets

When spouses actively hide assets, it usually involves hiding the source of an income stream or hiding assets directly. For example, one common tactic involves changing the form of an asset. A person might buy expensive electronics with the intent to sell them or return them and get the money back, as one example.

Some will even hide assets directly, such as keeping big piles of money in their car or at work. If any of these methods are discovered, it is possible to take action against the spouse in question.


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