Unethical Practice of Hiding Assets: The Other Marital Cheater
A recent survey, titled “State of Dating in America,” concluded that 95 percent of men and 100 percent of women automatically define cheating as an act of physical infidelity. But, is this the only definition of cheating evident in today’s marriages? The answer is no. In fact, another form of cheating involves one spouse secretly involved in the practice of hiding assets. Highly illegal and unethical, this action by the offending partner may occur in response to a pending divorce and can be further compounded by heightened feelings of guilt, anger or betrayal. Additionally, this type of infidelity often leads to delays in the division of marital property and asset allocation.
If you are currently discussing your marital assets with your experienced divorce attorney and harbor suspicions, the following suggestions can uncover the truth and secure your rights to a fair and equitable property settlement.
Gather as much financial information as possible, such as bank statements, tax returns, brokerage account statements, and other relevant financial or asset documentation. Also, always retain a photocopy of all documentation.
Marital Property Inventory
Often the offending spouse is the primary breadwinner with higher earning power. However, if you have been lax in familiarizing yourself with the financials, the disclosure of hidden assets can be easily achieved. In the early stages of your marriage and homeownership you were probably asked to draft an inventory of your personal possessions documenting monetary values. If you have this document on hand, share it with your attorney to produce during pending marital property division discussions.
Penny for Your Thoughts
If you suspect your spouse, make the effort to monitor his or her paycheck. Noticeable declines in income should also raise a red flag indicating a call to your divorce attorney is in order. Monitor weekly ATM activity, especially any withdrawals indicating a sizable decline in cash balance.
If you are still residing in the marital home, make it your personal business to open all financial documents received in the mail. Also make note of financial statements that are no longer arriving at the residence.
If you and your spouse hold joint interest in the stock market, it is important to ensure there has not been any notable sale activity. Also, take the time to review and monitor all joint bank accounts to ensure they are operational with the correct cash balance.
Your investigative efforts may or may not uncover whether or not your spouse is illegally hiding assets; however, by becoming more aware of joint financial activity you may very well thwart the efforts of a possible unethical spouse.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney
If you are in the beginning stages of divorce and have suspicions or evidence of your spouse hiding assets, it is imperative that you contact a qualified Geneva divorce attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Assoc. not only understand the legal ramifications of an asset cheating spouse but have at hand the resources required to to immediate action. Contact our office at 630-232-9700 today to discuss your legal rights pertaining to marital property division.