Like most parents in West Virginia, you have likely played hide and seek with your children on more than one occasion. Such games are timeless and often provide free and easy means for keeping kids occupied and entertained. Fast forward to your upcoming divorce proceedings, however, and you may quickly realize that not all hide and seek games are innocent or harmless. In fact, when it comes to property division and assets that rightfully belong to you, the last thing you need is to have to prove they exist.
Many spouses try to hide assets in divorce. Reasons vary but often include desire for revenge or attempts to avoid having to hand over certain luxury items to a spouse. Not only is hiding assets not a game at all, it is illegal. Knowing your rights and how to protect them if you suspect your spouse is trying to give you the short end of the stick may help you resolve a major problem before it gets out of hand.
Red flag issues you don't want to ignore
Even though you hoped to achieve an amicable settlement in your divorce, that doesn't mean you need to sit back and let someone violate your rights in court. The following list includes signs that you may be dealing with a hidden asset problem:
- Missing money: If you notice withdrawals from your joint bank account that you did not agree to or have knowledge of at the time, it definitely warrants an explanation.
- New purchases: As you prepare to sell your home and move on to separate lifestyles, you may find it odd if your spouse makes several unexpected expensive purchases. This is often a means of hiding assets by buying luxury items that can later be resold.
- Loaning others money: Has your spouse recently loaned several people substantial amounts of money or given money to people as supposed paybacks for loans you knew nothing about? This is a major red flag as many people hide assets by having family members or friends hold on to money until their divorces are finalized in court.
Dealing with possible illegal actions from someone you were married to for years can be extremely stressful, frustrating and sorrowful as well. As you try to overcome the emotional upset of such circumstances, you may want to reach out for support from someone who has successfully helped others in similar situations.
An experienced West Virginia family law attorney is a great asset to have on hand at such times.