Northington Blog

How Husband & Wives Hide Assets?

Welcome to Northington, the place to be to get educated, feel empowered on all things divorce. Our firm helps both women and men work toward divorce financial comfort by keeping divorce issues understandable, so that our clients are in the best position to make informed, educated decisions on the financial issues of divorce.

Like any great story there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. And there is a ton of conflict around money, the topic of our educational blog today. Let’s meet our supporting cast to our main characters the husband, & the wife.

Attorney– handles all the legal issues in your divorce. And someone that should always understand what your top priorities are at all times.
Therapist– Divorce is one of the most difficult emotionally charged life events ranked second only to the loss of a loved one in death.
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst– a financial professional certified in all financial issues in divorce. This is the person that will bring perspective and oversight to all things financial in the divorce process. They are the best possible position to help answer the question, “Will I be ok to move forward with my life financially?” “What assets not to keep?”, & Will the settlement meet the fair and equitable legal standard in all states with the exception of the nine states that follow the community property laws: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, & Wisconsin.
Forensic Accountant: These are trained accountants that are experts on looking backwards at money. Historical cash flow, historical lifestyle analysis. Simply put, if it can be looked at in reverse, these accountants are the most qualified to do this work.

What are some of the common ways that spouses hide money? Here are a few of the most common ones. •  Hiding Cash– In the attic, in the yard, in a safety deposit box. Review statements for unusual money movements and behavior
•  Prepaying Federal Income Taxes– Overpayment does not raise IRS flags but it should to you. A CDFA in Louisiana caught a CPA by simply noticing that a tax return had not been filed in the last three years. Several hundred thousand dollars found.
•  Phony Debt: Family and Friends discount. Simply put, husband and wife establishes a phony debt, uses the Family & Friends discount to only get repaid post divorce settlement.
•  Business Strategy-Under reporting income- this can be a debtor who has been given permission to defer payment until after the divorce is final.
•  Business Strategy-Using business funds to pay for trips and gifts to fund personal expenses
•  Business Strategy-Prepaying business expense that could be in the form of employee benefits to equipment for the business.

As well written Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Jeff Landers mentions in his Forbes article: “Hiding assets during a divorce is sneaky, unethical, and illegal-but it happens more frequently than most women expect.” Jeff Landers. And we agree. Check out Jeff’s article for more sneaky money hiding techniques.

Stephen Northington is certified in Divorce Planning CDFA® and as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional at Northington Investment Group. Clients hire us coming out of long term marriages where they supported a very successful husband’s or wife’s career. Typically, they stayed at home raising the children and have very limited, marketable job skills. This is a key to their number one concern, “Will my divorce settlement allow me to move forward with my life with confidence?”
Not only do Northington clients appreciate a stress test of their settlement to make sure it meets the “Fair & Equitable” standard by an independent qualified third party. We step up and give these women & men cash flow planning, so they can step out on their own financially with confidence. Post divorce, we continue building these women & men up financially. And, holding their hands long after their attorney has ended the relationship. This makes all the hard work, tears, and challenges worth it to see these women & men start to hear their voices again personally and financially.

If you have $500,000 in marital assets, and you are thinking about, in the middle of, or coming out of divorce, contact Stephen Northington here: for a 20 minute conversation to understand if our firm can bring you value.