North Carolina does not recognize community property, so when couples in the state divorce, their assets will be divided equitably instead of equally. Sometimes, a soon-to-be ex-spouse isn’t satisfied with this and wants to prevent their spouse from getting their fair share.

What are the red flags for hiding assets?

Behavioral, habit and overall financial changes may be signs that your spouse is hiding assets. In terms of behavior, you may find your spouse becoming more furtive with their financial information. They may become agitated when finances are mentioned or when you try to discuss the upcoming asset division with them.

Habit changes involve changes to your spouse’s spending patterns, including how much they save, how they handle paying back debts and where they invest their money. Sometimes, people mistakenly believe that a spouse suddenly starting to spend a lot of money on luxury items (watches, jewelry, art, etc.) is a revenge tactic. However, it is often a manipulative move in which the purchaser intends to return or sell these items after the divorce is finalized to get their money back without having to split the value with you.

Financial changes can manifest in how your spouse treats their money. Have they suddenly started to cash paychecks? Are they using their credit cards less often and relying on cash more? These can be signs that they are hiding assets from you without leaving a paper or electronic trail. Although these behaviors may be normal during a contentious divorce, it is within your right to look further into it if you are suspicious.