Guest blog by Lucy Taylor. Lucy Taylor is an avid blogger who enjoys sharing her tips and suggestions with her online readers. Working as a legal expert at LY Lawyers, Lucy often helps people dealing with legal problems, addictions and crime.
Did you know that according to Statistics Canada, about 38% of all marriages from 2004 will have ended in divorce by 2035? The truth is that we’ve seen a lot of clients go through divorces over the years. In some cases, everything is more or less clear and both clients are ready to move forward in an amicable manner. However, there are often cases when two parties did not have a full understanding of each other’s financial situation prior to during the marriage. This can cause major trouble when it comes time to disclose finances during a separation. We have seen many instances of parties’ hiding cash from their spouse. This is why the notice to disclose is such a critical part of the divorce proceedings. So, what do you do if you think your spouse is hiding money?
Potential Signs of Trouble
Make sure to review the investment changes and money movements. If you happen to spot an unusual activity, this can mean that your spouse is trying to cover their paper trail. As well, keep an eye out for unexpected statements or letters from credit card companies or banks you aren’t familiar with that are addressed just to your spouse. A clear sign of trouble is if your spouse has been overpaying credit card debts and hiding ATM receipts in the house. Your partner transferring money to a friend or family for safekeeping can also be a bad signal.
Does Your Spouse Keep a Financial Account in his/her Name?
Unfortunately, many married people think that by keeping a financial account in their name separates the asses of this account from their spouse. Without a specific agreement which is signed by both parties, all earnings and assets acquired during the marriage can be fair game when it comes to dividing the assets and debts upon separation. In the event of a divorce, many people will try to hide funds in an attempt not to split the money with their spouse. This is why it is very important for both parties to exchange financial disclosure.
What if your Spouse Constantly uses Cash for Purchases?
The number one way for people to hide their income is by dealing with cash. The bad news is that cash flow can be difficult to trace and it’s quite easy to conceal. Luckily, in this day and age with ATM cards, investment accounts, credit and debit cards, using cash for anything other than some inexpensive purchases can be suspicious.
What Can I Do About It?
If you are about to go through a divorce and you have found out that your spouse has been hiding money from you, the best option is to get help from a lawyer. The good news is that your lawyer can refer you to someone who specializes in finding hidden assets. It’s also important to note, the Court frowns upon those who conceal assets and will punish them if caught.
What Have We Learned?
Finding out that your spouse is hiding cash may not be that difficult, but tracing the assets in case of a divorce can be a tough task. You have every right to conduct the process on your own. However, our Calgary based divorce lawyers have plenty of experience with these investigations and can help you out.