While there was surely a time when you trusted your spouse implicitly, those days may be long by the time you decide divorce is your best option. Issues of distrust can even expand into the divorce proceedings, if your spouse attempts to hide shared assets.

Hiding assets is a serious legal issue. It can also be challenging for you to find evidence of hidden assets, unless you know where to look. Forbes explains a few of the common tactics when hiding assets so you can take the proper steps to shed light on the issue.

Inflating debt

When the court is making decisions on asset division, they may consider the amount of debt each spouse holds to determine the most equitable decision, since the goal is to ensure both parties can maintain a certain lifestyle. If your spouse is a business owner, he or she may claim to owe a massive amount of debt to other companies or individuals. Inflating debt amounts serves to cast doubt on financial stability, which in turn may influence decisions made by the court.

Giving assets to a third party

Gifting money or an asset, such as a vehicle, to another person can prevent the court from including it in shared marital property. Your spouse might plan on retrieving the item or assets once the divorce proceeding has ended. In this case, you may be able to locate gifted assets via your ex’s tax return, which can help you track down items that have mysteriously gone missing.

Denial of assets

Your spouse might also outright deny assets exist, which can be hard to prove if you don’t have the right evidence. Once again, look to your former spouse’s tax returns for clarification. Itemized deductions contain a lot of useful information, including property taxes paid on a home that your ex is denying even exists.