Maryland residents beginning the process of divorce will need to go through the discovery process, during which each spouse discloses their financial assets before beginning negotiations for a fair settlement. Some spouses attempt to hide assets in order to get an unfair advantage and access those funds post-divorce. However, there are ways a person can spot missing assets during the discovery process, and there are measures in place during the divorce process to prevent spouses from hiding assets as well.
Being vigilant during the discovery process and as the marriage ends is critical to figuring out if a spouse is attempting to hide assets. Watching for any changes in a spouse’s spending habits or financial transactions can help determine if they are trying to hide assets. For example, a spouse suddenly becoming an art or antique collector and insisting on keeping the pieces in the settlement might be a sign that they have undervalued the items to sell them after the divorce. Another sign is a sudden change in payments, withdrawals or deposits. A spouse might overpay a credit card and request the refund after the divorce or begin to transfer funds to children, relatives, business partners or friends.
Disappearing account statements or sudden lack of online access to accounts due to changing passwords might also indicate a problem. In that case, a person can contact the bank or institution directly and request physical copies of statements sent via certified mail with signature required. A new interest in cryptocurrencies can also be another way a spouse attempts to hide money, thinking that it might be more difficult to be traced.
During the divorce process, a family law lawyer may provide support and guidance. A lawyer may help their client discover missing assets and demand that supporting documents be provided by their client’s spouse.