Discovering Hidden Assets in a Divorce

Some spouses may be tempted to hide assets so they can get more than their fair share in a divorce, but there are steps people can take to uncover these assets. At Thompson Law, we’re dedicated to making sure you receive everything you’re owed during your divorce, and we’re going to equip you with everything you need to know to help you on that journey to find those hidden assets that have been hidden.

Over the span of a marriage, people often amass different properties and assets. During a divorce, however, they must split all of their joint possessions under the principal of equitable distribution. This takes into account a lot of factors during the marriage, like education or employment opportunities for one of two partners, how much each earns or spends, or how much either party might need.

Unfortunately, these decisions aren’t always easy for an ex-couple in a tumultuous situation. One partner might have a different idea about what is fair and what isn’t. Because of this, it’s surprisingly common for individuals to keep some of their assets hidden when getting prepare for a divorce.

You’ll be relieved to know that there are steps you can take to make sure that you’re awarded everything you’re owed.

Check the Taxes

Tax records can be used to locate hidden assets. People may fail to report their full income on financial statements in order to disguise their wealth prior to a divorce. If these types of documents show that a person is earning less than she or he reports, it may indicate that funds have been concealed. Additionally, some people choose to overpay their taxes in order to get a refund. If they anticipate that the divorce will be finalized before they receive this refund—then it doesn’t have to be split with the other spouse.

Take Note of Large Purchases

Sometimes, people may purchase items prior to, or during their divorce process, that may be easily undervalued or overlooked. Collectibles, such as antiques, stamps or coins; and art are just a few examples of assets that should be included in the marital property. Your ex could possibly keep these assets until after the proceedings are finalized, then sell them in order to recoup the funds.

Review Financial Documents

People may also be able to find concealed assets in financial documents, such as canceled checks, bank statements, and pay stubs. It is also suggested that people review their bank statements carefully, looking for unusual or unexplainable withdrawals. Such information can lead to the discovery of undisclosed offshore or private banking accounts that could contain marital property.

Perform a Public Records Search

Huffington Post recommends that people perform a public records search under their spouse’s name to discover hidden assets. It could reveal vacation properties or other real estate that was purchased without your knowledge using marital assets. If the property is determined to be a marital asset, both spouses may be entitled to a portion of its value.

Check the Validity of Debts and Expenses

Some people may work with friends or family members and make up phony debts in order to hide funds from their spouses. These payments are made under the assumption that their friends or family members will reimburse them once divorce proceedings have concluded. As a result, it’s important to question any debts or expenses that seem suspicious.

Working With an Attorney

When a spouse hides assets or does not disclose them during divorce proceedings, our clients may not receive what is fair and equitable in the property division process. Instead of worrying about all these details, leave it to a Thompson Law attorney to secure the amount you deserve. We’ll be right there with you to explain your rights to you and guide you along your way.