If you’re currently preparing for divorce in a Florida court, you may have several critical issues on your mind. If you’re a parent, then your children’s best interests are an obvious concern. There are typically numerous issues to resolve, such as those involving custody agreement, visitation schedule or child support payments. Property division is also a high priority issue in most divorce cases.

Florida is an equitable property state, meaning a judge will determine how to fairly divide your marital assets, although the split may not be 50/50. If you think your spouse is trying to gain the upper hand in such proceedings, perhaps by hiding assets, you’ll want to arm yourself with as much evidence as possible before stating your claim in court. There are several common signs of a hidden asset problem that may be relevant to a particular divorce case.

Suspicious behavior that warrants further investigation

If your spouse threatens to “take you for all you’ve got” or makes other intimidating comments regarding property division issues, it may not be enough to take action against him or her in court. The judge overseeing your case will expect solid evidence that he or she is hiding assets. The following list includes signs that may lead you to such evidence:

  • Does your spouse grow defensive or combative when you try to discuss financial issues?
  • Is there money missing from your jointly owned bank account?
  • Did your spouse recently give a large amount of money to a relative or friend, claiming that he or she is paying back a loan or lending money?
  • Has your spouse suddenly become adamant about opening a bank account for one or more of your children?
  • Have you noticed your spouse using numerous different cell phones?
  • Were you recently locked out of a safe deposit box or denied access to an online account or information to which you usually have access?
  • Is your spouse acting secretive, especially about money?

Any of these issues may signify a hidden asset problem. Evidence is also often a bit more obvious, such as finding a large sum of money in a drawer or between the pages of a book. While you may hesitate to ask your spouse about a specific matter of concern because you wish to avoid confrontation, it is typically best to ask and be wrong than to disregard your suspicions and wind up facing serious legal problems.

The sooner you do something, the better

Hiding assets in divorce is illegal. The sooner you gather evidence and bring your concerns to the court’s attention, the more swiftly the court can intervene and bring such a scheme to a halt. If you’re unsure whether the evidence you’ve gathered is sufficient to substantiate a claim, you can discuss the matter with someone well-versed in Florida property division laws.