When a Spouse Hides Money in a Divorce

Q: Can my spouse hide money if we divorce?

Phoenix family law attorneys know that money issues are often the cause of fighting among married couples. And while financial issues may drive a couple to divorce, money problems can follow them through the divorce process, too. 

Getting divorced in Arizona requires couples to address many issues when untying the knot including child custody and support and spousal maintenance, if applicable. 

But one thing that all divorcing couples face is the division of property.

In a community property state like Arizona property or assets acquired or earned during the marriage are deemed to be community property and legally owned equally by both spouses—no matter if one spouse brought in more than the other. Accordingly, those assets will be divided as equally as possible by the court so that each partner receives a 50/50 split. Separate property–which was property acquired before the marriage by either partner (and certain specific property acquired after the marriage) –stays with that partner upon divorce.

How can a spouse hide marital property?

Six ways a spouse may try to hide money during a divorce include:

  • Improperly writing off personal expenses as business expenses to make the business appear less profitable in an effort to reduce child or spousal support obligations.
  • Faking loans from real or imaginary third parties in an effort to reduce child and spousal support obligations.
  • Fraudulently transferring assets and possessions into another person’s name before and during the divorce with the intent to get them back afterwards. 
  • Making large purchases or taking lavish vacations before filing for divorce and thereby depleting money reserves that would have been split between spouses. 
  • Concealing money in cryptocurrency formats like bitcoin.
  • Stockpiling and hiding cash so it won’t be counted when dividing marital property and depleting the couple’s overall money reserves.

Fortunately, skilled divorce and family law attorneys can examine and subpoena records and depose people to expose these behaviors. 

If you are considering getting divorced, have been served with divorce papers, or have questions regarding any family law matter, Cohen Family Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation

From our office in Phoenix, we’ve been helping clients throughout Arizona navigate their family law issues with a non-judgmental and compassionate approach since 1982.