When you filed for divorce in a Texas court, you knew that you and your spouse would have to discuss several important issues before you could achieve a settlement. In a high asset divorce, one of your main concerns is likely going to be property division. This state operates under community property guidelines, which means the court typically splits all marital property 50/50 between spouses in divorce.

A spouse who wants to try to beat the system might attempt a hidden asset scheme. Not only are such tactics mean spirited, but they are also illegal. The judge overseeing your case will undoubtedly not look favorably upon your spouse if he or she is trying to hide assets. Such issues make divorce more stressful, which is why it pays to know how to recognize signs of a hidden asset problem so you can stop it in its tracks.

Did your spouse lend money to a friend?

Suppose you and your spouse have always kept some money in a strongbox at home in case of emergencies. There might be cause for concern if you happen to open the box to access funds and find a lot of money missing. If this occurs just before property division proceedings are scheduled to begin, you may have a hidden asset problem on your hands.

One of the most common means of hiding assets in divorce is to give money to a relative or friend, claiming that it is a loan. In reality, a spouse will secretly ask a third party to hold money for him or her until after the court finalizes the divorce.

Juvenile bank accounts

If you believe there is money missing, you might want to check any juvenile accounts your children have that have your spouse’s name on them. Of course, if your name is not also on the account, this might be difficult to do. Keep in mind, however, that many spouses in Texas and elsewhere use juvenile accounts as easy storage places to hide assets in divorce.

If your spouse’s name is on a son’s or daughter’s account, it wouldn’t necessarily raise any red flags at the bank if he or she were to deposit or withdraw money. This is why you have legitimate reason to investigate if you suspect that your spouse is trying to pull a fast one to keep assets hidden from the court.

New artwork in the house?

Another issue that would definitely be concerning is if he or she has been making large purchases of artwork, jewelry or other luxury items. A spouse who wants to gain the upper hand in property division proceedings might purchase an item worth a lot of money then underestimate its value.

When you divorce, you and your spouse are obligated to fully disclose all assets and liabilities. If your spouse tries to trick the court, the judge in question can hold him or her in contempt.