When a spouse attempts to hide assets in a divorce situation, they will usually do so actively, passively or both.
These two types of asset hiding both happen in different ways, and different people tend to rely on one over the other. Mixing tactics is not uncommon, however. Thus, it is important to know the signs of both.
Passive asset hiding
Forbes talks about passive asset hiding, which differs somewhat from active asset hiding. Passive asset hiding involves a spouse using factors that they do not have to manipulate, control or work on in order to get a spouse to lose a portion of their rightful assets.
For example, many people will forget they even have certain assets. This can include things not typically considered during divorce, like country club memberships or airline mileage. It can also include things easily overlooked, like stocks that people do not often check. When passively hiding assets, a spouse will simply do what they can to prevent their partner from getting a reminder that these assets exist.
Active asset hiding
Active asset hiding, on the other hand, involves a spouse attempting to hide assets without their partner noticing. They may transfer assets from one form to another, such as buying expensive art or electronics with the intent of returning them later. If they own a business, they may even write paychecks to falsified employees, collecting that money on the back end.
Any form of hiding assets is illegal, but active asset hiding is usually the type that gets people into trouble. Keep an eye out for red flags, like changed spending behaviors or a furtive, suspicious attitude toward finances.