When California couples divorce, property division is often contentious. But what lengths do people go to if they want to keep their assets to themselves? Do you need to worry about the possibility of your spouse hiding assets from you?

Hiding assets involves falsifying financial records or information. The end goal is for the individual to make it seem like they have fewer assets than they do. This way, they do not have to give up as much when the court divides assets, i.e. they get to keep more for themselves.

Forbes provides tips for uncovering hidden assets. You may start with examining your partner’s behavior. How do they act when you ask about financial information? Are they forthcoming and upfront? Do they act suspicious or try to dodge questions? Questionable behavior may indicate wrongdoing.

How can assets be hidden?

A spouse may try to hide assets in many different ways as well. For example, it is not unheard of for business owners to fabricate expenses or even employees. They pay these “employees” a paycheck but pocket the money instead.

It is also common for people to hide physical money. Many believe cash is harder to track than checks or credit cards in the modern digital age. This prompts people to hide away a portion of paychecks or other sources of income. Common hiding spots include individual offices, personal cars, bank security boxes or other private locations.

Hiding assets is illegal. If you believe your spouse is attempting to do this, seek advice on how to proceed. If you wish to question them or bring their actions to light, having a legal professional on your side can help.