When dividing property during divorce, a couple is required by California law to fully disclose all their properties and assets. California is a community property state, meaning that upon full disclosure, the marital property must be split evenly between the divorcing parties according to the state’s laws.
While property division works well for most couples, it is not unusual for some couples to have difficulty deciding how marital property is shared. In some cases, one party may resort to hiding property from the eyes of the court or their spouse with the goal of gaining more from the divorce.
Here are telltale signs you may want to look out for if you suspect that your spouse is trying to hide assets.
A sudden secretive and defensive behavior
While this is common during divorce, if you notice that your spouse has suddenly become overly defensive, secretive and controlling, then chances are they could be trying to hide something from you. And this could be the marital property. Always listen to your instincts if you feel something is amiss.
Change of address on accounts
If you notice that your spouse has for no clear reasons changed the mailing address on statements or accounts so mails no longer arrive via the regular home address, this could be a clear sign that they are keeping you and the court from accessing certain information about the assets. Some spouses also open new post office boxes to divert statements and information from coming to the home address.
A spouse who is suddenly spending more than normal could be draining money from the joint account so they can convert it to secret possessions. For instance, if there is a bank account, investment or a piece of real estate that you are unaware of, your spouse may opt to sell off the asset or drain the account so they can acquire items that are difficult to trace such as art, jewelry or even clothing.
If you are going through a divorce, it is important that you look out for red flags that could be indicative of your spouse’s attempt to hide marital assets. If you notice any of these signs, be sure to bring them to the attention of the court immediately.