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Hiding assets during divorce is both wrong and illegal

Once you decided to divorce, you were hopefully able to set time aside to sit down with your children and talk about the life changes coming their way. The good news in that regard is that kids are typically quite resilient and adaptable barring any extenuating circumstance that would impede their ability to function in a positive manner.

On the other hand, if you're stressed, they will sense it and they may feel stressed too. Various issues can cause stress levels to soar during a divorce, and trying to fight for what's rightfully yours when a spouse is hiding assets is definitely one of them. If you suspect it, make sure you know how to gather evidence and where to seek support in order to bring it to the court's attention.

Places to look

Perhaps you don't have concrete proof yet that your spouse is trying keep assets from being subject to division in your divorce, but you have a hunch that something is not right. The following list includes common ways that spouses often stash cash or try to give their former partners the short end of the stick during property division proceedings:

  • Some spouses literally hide money, such as in dresser drawers, underground, in closets or post office boxes.
  • Paying back erroneous loans is another common hidden asset scheme. If you're missing cash and your spouse says he or she took it to pay back a friend, and you were not aware your spouse lent that person money, it is definitely cause for further investigation.
  • Are certain credit cards being over payed? Or taxes? Spouses hiding assets often pay more than they have to on credit card balances or federal tax returns. The surplus creates stashed cash that they can get back after they settle their divorce.

If you review your bank balance on a joint account and learn that your spouse has been making withdrawals without your knowledge, it is probably a red alert that you may have a hidden asset problem.

There are other ways to hide assets. You can ask your spouse about any issue causing you concern. If your spouse meets your questions with defensiveness or anger, this could also potentially count as an additional sign that your ex may not be acting morally or legally upright regarding your marital assets.

Don't panic: Protect your rights

Don't let your anger get the best of you if you learn that your spouse is trying to keep you from obtaining a fair settlement. Instead, talk to someone well-versed in Minnesota property division laws and carefully determine a best course of action to rectify the situation and allow you to move on toward a brighter future.

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