When people get divorced, property division usually is one of the biggest issues to settle. But once a marriage has gotten strained to the point that someone has filed for divorce, trust between the spouses could be at an all-time low.
In these cases, the spouse who is the primary breadwinner may try to hide assets. While this can happen for various reasons, the result for the other spouse could be a much smaller financial base than they are entitled to under Louisiana law. In Louisiana, all community property (assets belonging jointly to you and your spouse) is supposed to be split 50/50. But you cannot divide what you don’t know about.
If you think your spouse is the sort of person who might try to hide assets from you and your divorce lawyer, here are some signs your suspicions could be true:
- Missing bank statements. If your bank has suddenly stopped mailing you the monthly statements for your joint checking and savings accounts, your spouse could be trying to hide their banking activity from you. Contact the bank to make sure you get up-to-date statements again.
- Your spouse could suddenly report a suspiciously low salary that is much less than what they made while you were still together. In some cases, high earners going through divorce make secret deals with their employers to defer income and change it into a large “bonus” that is not paid until after the divorce is final. This way, they can report a large “pay cut” and claim they are in tough shape financially.
- Similarly, a business owner going through a divorce may try several tricks to make their business look less valuable. For example, they may suddenly hire several new “employees” who are actually friends or family. These people get a “salary” that they pay back to your ex after divorce. They may even invent fictional “workers” who must be “paid.”
- Any other suspicious behavior from your spouse that you notice, like them suddenly becoming secretive or defensive about money.
When in doubt, go to your divorce attorney. An experienced Baton Rouge family lawyer will know the signs of a dishonest spouse and investigate to see if your ex is hiding cash or other valuable assets from you.