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Did your spouse get defensive when asked about missing money?

Divorce is never easy, and you may have more than your share of challenges in store, depending on your particular situation. If you have children, there might be disagreements about custody or visitation. If you're a business owner, protecting your interests will likely be a high priority when property division proceedings begin. Hopefully, you will be able to negotiate a fair and agreeable settlement that allows you to move forward toward a new, successful lifestyle.

That's often easier said than done, however, especially if you suspect that your spouse is trying to hide assets so that he or she won't be subject to division. If you're like many other spouses in Colorado, you've probably learned to trust your instincts when it comes to feeling like something is not right in your relationship. If your spouse is showing signs of suspicious behavior, you may want to further investigate the matter before heading to court.

Major warning signals that you've got a hidden asset problem

You've never been the suspicious type, and you always like to take people at their word. When you have a lot at stake in divorce, though, property division itself is no small matter. Therefore, if you notice one or more of the following signs, it may signify a serious problem -- and possible illegal activity as well:

  • If you notice money missing from a joint account and had no idea your spouse was making a withdrawal, it could be a sign that there's a hidden asset problem.
  • Has your spouse told you he or she is taking money to pay back loans to relatives or friends? If that's the first you've heard of the loans to begin with, you may want to ask for more details. For instance, when was the money borrowed and why?
  • Any time mail arrives from financial institutions or companies with whom you did not know your spouse had accounts, it may be worthy of investigation. Spouses hiding assets often open secret accounts to stash money until the finalization of a divorce.
  • Using multiple cell phones may also be a sign that your spouse is up to no good when it comes to marital property and attempts to keep you from getting what is rightfully yours.

You have the right to know why money is missing or why your spouse is suddenly making substantial purchases of luxury items, such as expensive paintings or jewels. This is another type of hidden asset trick where a spouse will buy big ticket items and then understate their value when it comes time for full disclosure of assets.

Among the steps individuals can take in response to possible asset-hiding is asking an experienced family law attorney to look into things for them. Such attorneys can assist individuals with things such as bringing possible illegal or unfair activity to a court's attention.

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