If you are struggling through a divorce and have suspicions that your spouse may be hiding marital assets, finding those assets could be critical to your very future. It is believed that at least 20 percent of spouses attempt to conceal assets or income during a divorce and that, by and large, the spouse who is more likely to practice deceit in this area is the husband. As most people are aware, divorce tends to bring out the worst in people. Spouses who simply don’t want to pay out one penny more than they absolutely have to can get very creative in their efforts to hide assets.

Spouses have been known to squirrel money away with friends or family members in order to hide it during a divorce, sell off assets without the knowledge of the other spouse, be less than honest on their income tax returns and even do their best to devalue any marital property. Those with businesses may seek to slow down accounts receivable until after the divorce so there will be less money to share. Couples who have rental properties may even delay renting the property or let the repairs go undone so the value will be less when it’s time to divide assets. If one spouse is generally in charge of filing taxes and there is a specific amount due, he or she may pay substantially more than is due so they can get a refund after the divorce is over.

Hiding assets are, of course, never legal. Even though spouses are required to disclose assets — and there is legal penalties involved if they are less-than-honest — the spouse who successfully conceals assets and is not found out prior to the final divorce decree will likely walk away with an undeserved portion of the marital assets. Those who have a feeling their spouse may be hiding assets should begin looking at every single piece of paper associated with marital assets — bank statements, cancelled checks, debit and credit card summaries, tax returns and even county records to ensure no marital properties have been unlawfully disposed of.

If you feel your spouse is hiding assets you should immediately contact an experienced attorney who will engage the services of a forensic accountant to track down all marital assets.