When the marriage is over and the couple opts to divorce, any property and debt accumulated during the marriage shall be divided per California’s property division laws. California is a community property state, which means that marital property ought to be subjected to a 50/50 split.
For this reason, one spouse may be inclined to under-report what they own to minimize the amount of money the other party may leave the marriage with. However, hiding marital assets is not permitted and it can get the responsible party in trouble with the law. But how can you prove that your spouse is hiding marital assets?
Here are two signs your spouse could be hiding marital property
They’ve suddenly become cagy about finances
If you share a bank and other financial accounts, you are entitled to bank statements and other information pertaining to what you own. If you are no longer receiving statements, and you learn that your spouse has changed the mailing address, you need to ask questions. Likewise, if they change passwords on online accounts or if they are hiding financial documents from you, these could be signs that they are trying to hide marital property.
Suspicious business activity
If your spouse owns a business, this can be a perfect vehicle for hiding marital property. Some of the warning signs you might want to look for include an unexplained rise in operational costs like exaggerated wages and stock purchases or unexplained losses. In other words, if your spouse is reporting questionable expenses or losses, you need to read between the lines – they could be hiding marital property.
Safeguarding your interests
Divorce can be a very tumultuous life experience. Even when it is amicable, it is not uncommon for one party to interfere with a court-sanctioned property declaration exercise. Learning how California property division laws work can help you protect your rights and interests if you suspect that your spouse is hiding marital property.