In high-asset divorces, the financial state of a couple is rarely what it seems at first. At least one side, probably the one with the most control over the money, is usually hiding something.
Sometimes, this comes from honest mistakes about what the court might include in property division — in addition to a predilection towards serving one’s own self-interests. Other times, there might be deliberate obfuscation of the facts at work.
Signs of fraud
People who lie about money are not always subtle. Some of the potential red flags could include:
- A history of dishonesty or controlling behavior regarding money
- Gambling, excessive spending, drug use, affairs or other extremely expensive activities
- Attempting to coerce someone to sign documents without their full understanding
Dishonest acts also sometimes leave evidence. Detailed audits could uncover discrepancies that either lead to the hidden money or form the basis for further investigation.
Why people lie during divorce
If lies are intentional in a divorce, it is often because the dishonest party understands what is at stake. The court typically wants to pursue an equitable division of assets that takes into account the contributions of both people to the marriage, sharing the fruits of that common success.
People who lie about money typically believe that their contributions were worth significantly more than their spouse’s. This would typically be the higher earner of the couple. Unfortunately for those with that perspective, the courts often do not see it that way.
Even in a collaborative divorce, people might hide assets. Knowing how to spot these inconsistencies and uncover the truth could contribute to a more equitable division of marital assets.