If you or a close friend or relative is getting divorced with a shady husband in the mix, you want to know if and how they are storing that extra income or savings and hiding the evidence from the court.
The reality is, hiding money in a divorce is super common, and there is no shortage of ways to do it.
Lying about the existence or value of an asset is more common than you think. In fact, a 2015 credit card poll found one in five married Americans admitting to secretly spending more than $500 without telling their spouse.
A smaller but still shockingly high six percent admitted to having a secret financial hustle on the side or concealing income and spending or investing it clandestinely.
If any of those six percent get divorced, there’s a good chance they can dodge any mention of those assets in divorce court and leave their spouse in the lurch when it comes to splitting assets or even paying child support. So how do people get away with financial infidelity?
The main methods of hiding money are:
- Storing cash in a hidden location
- Direct deposits to secret bank accounts
- Secret credit card accounts
- Online bank accounts
- Offshore accounts
- Shell accompanies
- With friends or relatives
Cash stowing is the most basic form of hiding money. It might be something as simple as hiding it in your own house in an unused or hidden location.
Think attic, basement, garage, or shed, in that order. More complicated but harder to track is cash or other valuable asset storage in safe deposit boxes at banks you aren’t familiar with in accounts you have never heard of.
Direct deposits to alternate bank accounts are a common way for people to hide additional income by making an arrangement with their employer or whoever is paying them to send part of their dues to a different bank account that their spouse has no idea exists.
Credit cards or online bank accounts are very common tools to avoid one’s wife becoming aware of wild and unexplainable expenses, too.
Offshore assets are moving into the Richie Rich category slightly, but if someone really wants to keep their money hidden from their spouse (or the IRS), a good option for them is setting up a bank account in a tax haven.
Tax havens are countries that don’t have tax information-sharing agreements or reciprocity with the US and are thus immune to disclosing information to US authorities.
Wealthy individuals who are hiding a good amount of money from their spouse for reasons well beyond the scope of financial infidelity go about it in a number of ways.
They usually create front companies in their name or in someone else’s name while retaining control in order to evade US authorities as well as husbands and wives.
A lot of the time, husbands storing large assets, including money, in locations hidden from their spouse aren’t doing it alone. Many will use a friend, trusted relative, or a business associate to store or move money on their behalf.
If you are involved in a divorce case and suspect that your husband is hiding money with his sibling or friend or boss, tell your lawyer right away. Those individuals can be subpoenaed and your husband can be in serious trouble if hidden transfers are discovered.
Here are some helpful tips on red flags to be on the lookout for when it comes to identifying financial infidelity. Some are as obvious as your husband getting weirdly combative and bottled up when money discussions come up or freaking about mail deliveries.
But it also includes more subtle things, like observing them lie about money to someone else, even if it seems insignificant.
You know your husband is hiding money somewhere. What can you do about it?
Unfortunately, discovering this type of cheating (because let’s be honest, it is a form of cheating) can oftentimes be a homewrecker, spiraling relationships into cycles of distrust, resentment, and splits.
Confronting your husband with evidence is the right thing to do if you desire any form of resolution.
But it might be wise to have a backup plan ready (keep the original version of the evidence stored with a close friend, relative, or your attorney). Be open, communicative, rather than angry, if at all possible. Seeking couple’s or individual therapy can’t hurt, since financial infidelity is usually a symptom of a greater issue.