What You Can Do If Your Spouse Is Hiding Assets From You
Divorce is a hard process to go through, with the act of asset division often being the most complicated. In some cases, one spouse may attempt to hide assets from the other to prevent the division. If you suspect your spouse may be hiding assets from you, here are some things you should know:
Look at All Bank Statements
The bank statement is a great place to start your evaluation. There are several red flags you can uncover. ATM withdrawals, payments to bills you do not know about, or odd transfers are some examples. If you notice any strange expenditures made by your spouse, or if you cannot account for any withdrawals, you may have an argument for further investigation.
Look at Credit Card Statements
Credit card statements can uncover a vast amount of information, particularly if there are accounts you were not aware of until now. If you do have access to credit card statements, check for any unfamiliar charges. Also, look to see the source of payment for the credit cards, as this may indicate there is a different bank account opened by your spouse.
Inspect Your Tax Returns
As you look at your tax returns, check for any undisclosed investments, income you were not aware of, and any accounts you did not know you had. You may need to work with an accountant and your divorce attorney to determine exactly what you need to look for.
Obtain Access to Additional Financial Records
Your spouse is very unlikely to provide you with the documents and records you need to determine if any hidden assets exist. Your attorney can help you gain the access you need to view the information.
The process of discovery is a formal request for documentation and other information. Your attorney can go about this process in different ways. While some discovery can come directly from your spouse, other third-party entities can also provide information via discovery. Third-party entities include banks, employers, credit card companies, and so on.
Your attorney may also hire a private investigator to find any possible hidden assets, including real estate records. Keep in mind that some states vary to the degree a private investigator may look into private information.
If you cannot understand your financial records, or if you were not privy to the finances throughout your marriage, you may want to ask your attorney about using a forensic accountant to help you uncover the information you need.