My Spouse Gets Paid in Cash and Hides Money. How Can I Prove How Much They Make?

During the dissolution of a marriage, it is important that each spouse provides a full accounting of their assets and income. In many cases, this is quite a simple task. However, in some situations, determining how much money one spouse makes can be quite difficult due to how they are paid for their work.

During straightforward divorce proceedings, both spouses provide financial information through affidavits and mandatory disclosures, which contain a full accounting of each spouse’s income, assets, and liabilities. Pay stubs and tax returns will typically document all income earned by those spouses who work for others.

However, what happens when a spouse gets paid in cash? If they are completely honest and forthright, invoices and tax returns will perfectly reflect their cash payments. But if a spouse who is paid in cash hides their money, how can a proper division of property occur?

The answer is that it cannot, at least not until the other spouse’s cash income is accounted for.

How Spouses Hide Cash

Divorces are contentious proceedings. So it should come as no surprise that some spouses engage in dishonest behavior, such as hiding their cash. Some of the more common ways a spouse may conceal the existence of cash include:

  • Hiding it in a safe
  • Hiding it in a safety deposit box
  • Parking the money in a custodial account for the children
  • Loading up prepaid debit and store cards
  • Giving it to a third party for safekeeping, such as a friend or family member

In all cases, concealing cash during divorce proceedings is illegal in Florida and every other state. Doing so can lead to a contempt charge that comes with potential jail time and fines.

Hiding cash can lead the judge to require the guilty spouse to pay court costs and the opposing party’s attorney’s fees. It can also result in a voiding of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

How Divorce Attorneys Help Their Clients Find Hidden Cash

Although many people hide cash during their divorce, most do not get away with concealing sizable amounts. Thanks to the services provided by seasoned divorce attorneys, people who suspect their spouses of hiding cash can learn the truth.

Attorneys often employ forensic accountants to help them locate concealed cash. Forensic accountants, especially those dedicated to divorces, know how to determine the existence of hidden funds through circumstantial and direct evidence.

They analyze purchases, financial transactions, expenses, and standards of living to determine a spouse’s likely income. Then they compare and contrast that with the spouse’s stated income to discover discrepancies.

Attorneys also use subpoenas and depositions to elicit information from parties who may know of the existence of a spouse’s cash reserves, such as:

  • Bank employees
  • Employers
  • Clients
  • Friends
  • Family

In other words, with an attorney representing you, it is unlikely that your spouse’s hidden cash will remain hidden for very long.

Contact Our Team if Your Spouse is Hiding Cash From You

The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm has worked with clients in the past to uncover hidden cash and other assets during divorce proceedings. Please call today to meet with an equitable distribution attorney who is ready to protect your financial interests.