Divorce isn’t easy, especially if you’re one of many North Carolina spouses who suspects your soon-to-be ex of hiding assets. This state operates under equitable property division guidelines, which means that you can expect a fair, albeit not necessarily equal, distribution of marital property. The court expects you and your spouse to fully disclose all assets and liabilities.
If only one of you is doing that, then the judge overseeing property division proceedings will not have all the information needed to make a fair decision. It’s understandable that you’d want answers if you suspect the person you were married to is trying to keep you from getting what you’re legally entitled to in a divorce.
Is your spouse unwilling to discuss finances as you prepare for divorce?
Perhaps you had an inkling that something didn’t seem right regarding your finances as you and your spouse prepare to head to court to finalize your divorce. Maybe you decided to simply ask your spouse about money that appeared to be missing from your joint bank account or about recent purchases that were made with your jointly owned credit card.
If your spouse immediately became defensive and was unwilling to discuss the issue or tried to turn the tables and blame you for being “mistrustful,” it could be a red flag that you’re dealing with a hidden asset scheme.
How to conduct an investigation
If it’s obvious that your spouse is refusing to talk about missing money, recent purchases or other financial matters, you might want to further investigate the issue. For instance, it’s helpful to review credit card statements and tax returns. Many people hide assets in divorce by overpaying on these types of debts.
Purchasing luxury items then understating their value is another common means for hiding assets in a divorce. To rule this out, you might want to carefully review the search history on your household computer and review all transactions that occurred with your credit cards.
Perjury is a crime and lying during property division proceedings is perjury
A family court judge can hold a person in contempt for attempting to hide assets in a divorce. If you suspect your spouse of this type of misconduct, you can seek the court’s intervention. Most judges do not appreciate it when someone tries to take advantage of the system during property division proceedings.
Intentionally misleading the court regarding assets and liabilities is a form of perjury, which is a crime. If you have reason to believe that your ex is hiding assets, there are resources available to help you resolve the issue.