Going through a contentious divorce is tough on everyone involved. Usually there is a loss of trust and communication break downs that have led to the divorce, but what makes it worse is that some spouses try to hide money in the midst of a divorce, especially if it is a high asset divorce.
With our society so technologically advanced, it's pretty hard for a spouse to hide money because electronic discovery is making it a lot easier for forensic accountants or spouses to find the electronic trail.
When a contentious divorce is underway, it seems that both spouses are trying to confirm suspicions of an extramarital affair or if they think their spouse is hiding money. Some people go as far as digging through Web-surfing histories, social networks or even installing software on home computers that records every keystroke.
While it might appear to be a good idea to do your own detective work, it can be a gray area from a legal standpoint. It could be illegal to install tracking software on a car or install programs to record every key stroke. There is no legal precedence on this and it's best to let your attorney work on your behalf to do things the right way.
According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, approximately 31 percent of U.S. adults who combined assets with their spouse say that they have been deceptive about money and 58 percent of these adults say that they have hidden cash from their spouse. With these statistics, it's easy to see that in a contentious divorce with a lot at stake, couples may resort to hiding their money or assets.
Divorce is hard enough without trying to hide or investigate your soon to be ex-spouse. If you have suspicions let your attorney investigate and try not to get caught up in the lies. In the long run, you'll end up more secure and thankful that you get a fresh start with your life after the divorce.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Why Hiding Money From Your Spouse Has Gotten a Lot Harder," April 30, 2012