It is easier than ever for hidden assets to be found. From significant others searching each other’s smartphones, to divorce lawyers and forensic experts implementing tools to analyze thousands of digital bank statements for irregularities, the age of hidden caches appears to be over.Unfortunately, even with these well known advances many couples still attempt to hide money and other assets from their partners during divorce, particularly in high net worth divorce proceedings. The Wall Street Journal recently cited the National Endowment for Financial Education for survey results. The study showed that 31 percent of American adults who blended their assets and money with partners or spouses admitted to deceiving their partners about the subject, and 58 percent of this group admitted to actually hiding money from their significant others.
Why Take the Risk?
Technological advances in ferreting out hidden assets are not investigatory secrets. Information on social-network sites and text messages are often admissible in divorce proceedings. So why do some individuals take the risk?
Fox Business quotes a professional therapist as stating that such practices are driven by “fear and a lack of trust.” Other reasons often revolve around an attempt to create a safety net in case the relationship fails.
Regardless of the reasoning, courts frown upon attempts to hide assets during divorce proceedings, and judges are finding out about hidden assets more often. In the past, it was a lot easier to keep these accounts unknown. These days, with the advent of social networking sites and smartphones, it is next to impossible to keep even a typical ATM transaction a secret.
More people are putting detailed information about their lives and careers online. As a result, it is much easier to determine if a partner has additional funds from an extra business or access to assets, as showcased by pictures of lavish vacations on Facebook, when claiming poverty in a divorce proceeding. Once discovered, this information can provide leverage in negotiation settlements.
If you are in the process of obtaining a divorce, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced division of property attorney to help you fight for an equitable share of assets.