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Where can a spouse hide income during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2022 | Property Division |

Some divorces proceed amicably with each spouse being open about the assets they own to ensure a fair division of marital property. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. You may have reason to suspect that your spouse is hiding money from you.

You could be at a disadvantage because you do not handle most of the finances for your marriage. Therefore, it may be of benefit to know where to look for signs of hidden assets. According to CNBC, sometimes a spouse will divert money into one or more retirement accounts.

Examples of possible hidden accounts

In some divorces, spouses hide assets so they do not have to divide them with the other spouse. They may also want to keep their spousal or child support as low as possible. Workplace accounts are one place a person could conceal income.

One possibility is that a spouse puts after-work income into a workplace retirement account. Other hiding places include a health savings account or a 401(k) plan. Some people maintain a deferred compensation plan at work. This allows your spouse to receive payment at a later date in order to minimize taxes, but it could hide some income as well.

Paystubs may reveal actual income

A Form W-2 can provide valuable clues indicating whether your wife or husband receives more money than your spouse has claimed. A W-2 lists the income of your spouse and how much your spouse saves in a workplace plan. A W-2 also contains how much the government withholds from your spouse in income taxes.

A larger income amount on a W-2 could signify that your spouse has been dishonest about his or her earnings. This may lead you to look for the existence of secret accounts maintained by your spouse.