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Signs a spouse may be hiding assets

There is a common misconception that only men hide or conceal assets during a divorce. However, as women are gaining more economic power in Washington and throughout the country, there is an opportunity for individuals of both genders to hide assets. It is not uncommon for women who earn more in a relationship to have control over a household's finances. This means that they pay bills, file tax returns and determine how money is invested.

If a spouse makes a larger-than-usual withdrawal from a bank account to pay a bill, it could be a sign that he or she is trying to hide an asset. In such a scenario, a spouse will overpay a creditor and seek a refund after the divorce is finalized. In some cases, even small withdrawals from a bank or retirement account could be cause for alarm.

Individuals may try to buy items such as art or other collectibles and claim that they are worth less than their actual market value. Once the divorce is over, the asset will then be liquidated for whatever its true value is. Ideally, an individual will ask for all art or other tangible assets to be appraised before the marriage is officially over. A spouse may also try to covert money into Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency in an effort to hide it.

Typically, most assets acquired during a marriage are subject to the property division process. If a couple has a prenuptial agreement, assets may be divided according to its terms. However, if no agreement exists, state law could determine who gets a marital home, a car or money in a joint bank account. An attorney may help a person obtain marital assets and other financial resources as part of a divorce settlement.

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