You don't know with absolute certainty what assets your spouse has. What you do know, as you work through your divorce, is that you thought the totals were higher than they appear. You're shocked by just how little he or she says that you're going to get.
Is your spouse hiding assets? It's important to know that people often do this, especially in high-asset divorce cases where only one spouse has been managing the finances during the marriage.
For instance, your spouse may have reported that his or her income was lower than it really was. Maybe your spouse reported the monthly salary correctly, but the yearly bonuses were left out. Maybe certain benefits that come along with that salary -- like shares of the company -- were left out.
Perhaps your spouse made it look like extra money was tied up in various ways to decrease the estate's overall value. He or she may have exaggerated debts to make them look almost crippling or taken on new debt right before the divorce. Maybe your spouse said that expenses ran very high last year, making them appear far higher than they are in reality by adding in false expenses or over-reporting real ones.
Fudging the numbers isn't legal, but it's common. This could especially be problematic if your spouse owns the company, rather than working for it, as business owners have a lot of control over their money and may try to hide it away or hide personal assets within the company.
If you believe this is happening and you think that your spouse is trying to defraud you of the money you deserve, make sure you look into all of your legal options.
Source: Forbes, "What Are the Consequences Of Hiding Assets During Divorce?," Jeff, accessed Aug. 10, 2017