When a Minnesota married couple decides to divorce, there are typically numerous issues they must resolve before they can achieve a settlement. For instance, if you're one of many parents in this state who are preparing for divorce proceedings, your children's best interests are likely one of your highest priorities. You and your spouse will have to agree on custody issues, as well as financial provisions to cover expenses associated with your children's needs as your family moves on in life.
Finances are often a contentious issue in divorce, especially if your spouse refuses to follow the rules. Minnesota is an equitable property state, which means the judge overseeing your case will decide how to fairly divide all marital assets and debt. The split will not necessarily be 50/50. If your spouse refuses to fully disclose a list of assets and liabilities or is acting angry or defensive when you inquire about financial issues, it might be a sign that you have a hidden asset problem on your hands.
You can't simply approach the court and accuse your spouse of hiding assets without having any evidence to support your claim. The following list shows ways spouses often hide assets when they're trying to gain the upper hand in property division proceedings:
- Fake loans: Did your spouse recently give a lot of money to someone, claiming it was a loan or that it was repayment for loan that a friend or relative provided? This is one of the most common means of hiding assets, the idea being that the third party will hold the money until the court finalizes your divorce.
- Bank accounts for minors: If a parent opens a bank account for a minor, the parent typically adds his or her name to the account. It's also a good place to check if you think your spouse is trying to hide money.
- Delayed bonus pay or wage increases: Were you expecting your spouse to receive a pay bonus or raise in pay that didn't arrive when you thought it would? Spouses often hide assets by asking an employer to withhold such funds until after they finalize a divorce.
- Siphoning cash from a joint account: If you notice money missing from a bank account you jointly own with your spouse, you should definitely investigate further, especially if you already suspect that your spouse is trying to hide assets.
An asset-hiding spouse will often grow combative or highly defensive if the other spouse questions him or her about financial issues. If you can prove one or more of the issues mentioned earlier, you can provide the evidence to the court and seek its intervention to help you resolve the situation. Hiding assets in divorce is illegal, and you need to hold the other party accountable for his or her actions.