Because Texas is a community property state for divorce purposes, both spouses own marital property. When your marriage ends, you probably must divide marital wealth equally. Of course, you can only fight for your fair share of assets if you know that they exist. Regrettably, a deceptive spouse may try to hide assets from you.

Hiding assets is not only unethical, but it may also be illegal. Even worse, if your partner is not honest with you about your marital wealth, you may have fewer financial resources to begin your life anew. Here are three common ways that your soon-to-be-ex-spouse may hide assets before a divorce:

  1. Making loans 

While there is nothing inherently wrong with loaning money to family or friends, you do not want your partner to squander marital assets. You also do not want loans to be a scam that your partner uses to hide wealth. Either way, if your husband or wife becomes unusually generous in the months before your divorce, you should wonder if hiding assets is the real motivation. 

  1. Deferring benefits 

Many companies offer bonuses and other benefits that pay out once a year. If your spouse earns a bonus during your marriage, you may have an ownership interest in it. Still, if your partner defers payment until after your divorce finalizes, he or she may not have to give you any of the proceeds. A forensic accountant may be able to help you uncover this type of deception. 

  1. Enhancing collections 

If your spouse has a collection, such as one of art pieces, you may not have much interest in seeking half of it. You should realize, though, that your husband or wife may add to the collection in the months before filing for divorce. This may deplete marital assets, causing you to receive less than you otherwise may have.

Even though hiding assets may expose your spouse to criminal or civil liability, he or she may try to defraud you. By knowing where unscrupulous spouses often try to stash marital wealth, you can better advocate for your fair share.