Community property laws in Texas give both spouses an interest in shared marital property. The income that both parties earn throughout the marriage and the property that they accumulated will typically all be part of the marital estate, and the spouses will typically need to divide those assets when they divorce unless they already have an agreement with one another that contradicts this expectation.
Some people resent the idea that they should have to share their assets in full with their spouse in a Texas divorce and will try to manipulate the outcome of the process by hiding assets. The three locations below are some of the most common places that people find hidden assets while navigating the divorce process.
In hidden bank accounts
Some people lie about their financial circumstances through their entire relationship. They keep certain assets completely separate and never disclose them to their spouse. Others open accounts once they decide to file for divorce. Hidden bank accounts contributed to during the marriage could contain thousands of dollars of marital income. Reviewing financial records carefully, possibly with the help of a forensic accountant, could sometimes help people track down hidden accounts.
In personal property
One of the easiest ways to hide something is to have it in plain sight. For the purpose of property division, one spouse may choose not to report their personal assets and might claim that they know their spouse has no interest in their wardrobe or the supplies for their hobby. However, the value of those assets can still play a major role in the property division process. The more that someone spends on assets that they intend to retain, the more likely the value of that property is to influence other property division decisions.
In a new apartment or storage unit
When someone decides to move out or prepare to leave, they often start accumulating resources with marital income or removing items that they would like to keep for themselves. Antique furniture, collectibles, jewelry and many other valuables could end up missing from the marital home because someone uses them to supply their new living space or moves them to a storage unit to hide them. Occasionally, friends or family members will provide storage space for someone preparing for divorce to hide valuable physical assets so that people don’t include them in the division process.
Only those who identify and properly value their marital property will receive a fair outcome when they divorce. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about how people hide assets may help those who are hoping to locate all of their community property prior to a Texas divorce.