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How to determine if your spouse is hiding assets in divorce

Are you one of many Colorado spouses who grew so tired of fighting with your partner about finances that you ultimately decided you'd rather file for divorce than stay in such an unhappy relationship? Money problems are definitely at the top of most list regarding issues that cause communication breakdowns in marriage.

If your spouse is acting with contention as you prepare for divorce proceedings or if he or she has made threats to "leave you with nothing" or to "beat the system," you might have a real cause for concern if cash starts disappearing or you notice issues that make you suspect a hidden asset problem.

What is a hidden asset problem?

When a Colorado married couple files for divorce, they each get a share of the assets and property they acquired during marriage. They also must each share a portion of any existing debt that they incurred after their wedding day. It's unlawful to try to hide assets or property to keep them out of property division proceedings.

The court doesn't look favorably on a spouse who tries to beat the system by hiding assets to leave the other spouse with a short end of the property division stick. There are numerous schemes that spouses often use to try to hide assets. 

Issues that may cause suspicion

Did you recently access a your jointly owned bank account only to learn that your spouse has been making withdrawals without you knowing? This is one of the most common means for hiding assets in divorce. A spouse might open a separate bank account and start making deposits using money he or she is filtering out of a jointly owned account.

If your spouse recently opened a bank account for one of your children who is a minor, it might also be part of a hidden asset scheme. Your spouse would have to add his or her name to the account and would therefore have free access to it at any time, which would make it easy to deposit or withdrawal funds.

Other signs that suggest a hidden asset problem

Does your spouse fly off the handle any time you try to discuss finances or when you ask a question about a specific incident, such as money missing from an account? Has your spouse claimed that he or she is loaning money to a friend or relative or is paying back a loan that you did not know had taken place?

Did you recently try to access financial information that you and your spouse record online only to discover that your spouse has changed all the passwords? Has your spouse purchased luxury items, such as artwork or antiques? Any of these issues may be signs that you have a hidden asset problem on your hands.

What to do about it

You should know that if you accuse your spouse of hiding assets in a Colorado divorce, you're accusing him or her of a crime. The court will want to see evidence that proves your allegations. Such situations are highly stressful, which is why it's helpful to reach out for support from someone who understands state property division laws and knows how to investigate such matters.

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