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4 tricky ways people hide their assets

Hiding assets during divorce can be as simple as withdrawing money and stashing it away in a safety deposit box, but bank records would make that very easy to track down. Even if the money couldn't be located, it'd be clear that it was taken out and never seen again. As such, some people have resorted to more advanced methods to hide their wealth.

For example, some people pay too much on their taxes. If your spouse pays an extra $10,000, he or she may set it up so that the $10,000 gets returned after the split has been finalized.

Family members may also be given fake gifts. For instance, your spouse's brother may live in town, and your spouse may give him a large loan for some work on the house. After the divorce, the brother will "decide" not to do the work and then return the money, cutting you out.

In a similar scheme, friends may be called in to create fake debt. Your spouse may start claiming he or she owes money to a lot of people to shrink the overall value of all assets, even though you've never heard of these loans before in your life.

Finally, your spouse could simply transfer away some of the stock that he or she owns, perhaps giving it to a business partner. It's important to track all assets, not just cash.

As you can see, assets can be hidden in numerous ways, and these are merely four examples. If you're heading toward divorce and you think your spouse is trying to stash assets away or cut you out of a fair split, make sure you know your legal options.

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing Women: Here's Where Husbands Typically Hide Assets," Jeff Landers, accessed Sep. 15, 2017

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