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As you prepare to leave your married life behind and set goals for a new, single lifestyle, there are many decisions to make and issues to discuss with your spouse before entering divorce proceedings. Especially where your children are concerned and other important matters, such as property division and your future financial status, it is often best to try to work out as much as you can ahead of time so you merely need to seek the court’s approval rather than hash it all out in court.

There are certain situations, however, that may definitely warrant litigation. If you suspect your spouse may be trying to hide assets to avoid property division, it is not only a matter you can discuss with an experienced family law attorney, it also happens to be illegal. Before you take any formal action, however, it may benefit you to familiarize yourself with common signs of hidden assets in divorce.

Red flag signals that something is not right

You likely do not wish to accuse your spouse of wrongdoing if you have no concrete evidence to support your allegations. The following list includes signs that could signify the potential of hidden assets. If you notice one or more of these things, you may to want to seek support and assistance from the resources available to you:

  • If your spouse has recently and suddenly made several luxury purchases, such as artwork or expensive antiques, it may be to try to conceal assets by later understating the value of the purchased items when it comes time to list all marital property.
  • Did your spouse tell you money was being withdrawn from a joint account in order to pay back a debt? Sometimes, a spouse will get a friend or relative to hold onto money until the court finalizes a divorce. In the meantime, the spouse will claim the money is being given to the other person to satisfy a debt.
  • If your spouse uses your child’s Social Security Number to open a bank account in the child’s name, it may be a sure sign of trouble. This is a trick many spouses use to hide assets in a divorce.

If you have reason to believe your spouse is trying to keep you from getting what is rightfully yours in your divorce, you may wish to act sooner rather than later to rectify the situation. An experienced Virginia family law attorney is a great resource when seeking assistance for any divorce-related matter, including getting to the bottom of a possible hidden asset problem.