The division of marital property is often one of the most complex and emotionally-charged aspects of any Georgia divorce. Usually, after a marriage breaks up, both spouses have a primary goal of protecting their own individual well-being.
In some cases, this motivation can lead spouses to hide income or assets from their soon-to-be ex. This type of deception is often illegal, but it happens more often than many might think, especially when couples have significant or complicated financial portfolios.
Below are some warning signs that your spouse may be hiding income or assets:
New or unusual purchases: Be on the lookout for purchases that could be easily overlooked or undervalued. Common tactics include purchasing artwork or antiques or keeping new purchases at work instead of bringing them home.
Secretive behavior: Deceptive spouses sometimes set up secret bank accounts or have financial documents routed to a secret post office box. In other cases, deceptive spouses might "accidentally" erase computer files or lose important financial documents.
Cash dealings: If your spouse is all of a sudden carrying a lot of cash, that could be a sign that he or she is trying to hide expenditures or is receiving off-the-books income.
Business troubles: Artificial undervaluing of a business is a very common way to hide assets in property division cases. If your spouse owns a business, be on the lookout for sudden changes or talk that the business is failing.
Sudden generosity: Deceptive spouses often create phony debt instruments as a way to reduce marital property. Basically, they make large payments friends or family members with the intent of getting all that money back once the divorce is finalized.
These are just a few of the possible warning signs that a spouse may be hiding income or assets. At the end of the day, the best advice is to trust your gut. If you think your spouse is being deceptive, be sure to discuss the issue with your Georgia divorce lawyer.