Is your spouse hiding assets in a safe deposit box?

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2021 | High Asset Divorce |

If you don’t trust that your spouse fully and honestly disclosed all of their assets when you filed for divorce as required under the law, there are professionals like forensic accountants who can help you find them. They know how to track down assets hidden overseas or in a business or even those converted to cryptocurrency.

It may be worthwhile to bring in someone with the expertise to find these assets. However, sometimes, the easiest place to hide them is the last thing people think of – a safe deposit box.

A person can place just about anything that will fit in a safe deposit box in one. Holders of these boxes are granted complete privacy by the financial institutions where they’re located. Someone could store cash, jewelry and other valuables, savings bonds, deeds to property and information about an inheritance there. If the box is solely in their name, their spouse has no right to access it.

How can you find your spouse’s safe deposit box?

So what can you do if you suspect that your spouse has a safe deposit box and is keeping assets that you may or may not have a right to a share of in the divorce? It depends on how well they’re hiding it. If they’re paying a fee, they’ll get an annual statement, which, of course, they can hide. However, that fee would show up on their bank statement. 

They may be getting a free box as a benefit of keeping enough money in an account. If you know where your spouse has bank accounts, that would be a starting point. However, a bank can’t provide information on someone else’s box to anyone who asks – even a spouse.

You might find a key somewhere, but unless it’s in the envelope it came in, you likely have no way of knowing where the box is. Even if you do know, just showing up at the bank with the key isn’t going to get you access if you’re not a signer on the box.

If you have reason to believe that your spouse has been hiding cash or other items that have value to avoid having to divide them with you in the divorce, don’t take any action without first getting legal guidance.