When you began divorce proceedings, you likely hoped you would receive your fair share of marital assets. Yet, your spouse’s financial disclosure may not have mirrored your shared lifestyle. If significant assets are at stake during your divorce, they may have hidden them. Finding these assets can be difficult. And doing so requires you to know where to look and how to access them.
Knowing the signs
During your marriage, your spouse may have controlled your household’s finances. Or, they may have been your household’s primary breadwinner. In either case, you may not know the true scope of your assets, which can make it difficult to find and value them. Regardless, you will likely sense if your spouse is hiding them. Some signs that they are include:
- Making expensive purchases before or during your separation
- Making sudden withdrawals from your shared checking or savings accounts
- Dealing with overseas banks or taking frequent trips to known tax havens
- Gifting expensive items to friends and relatives
- Setting up a P.O. box
If your spouse owns a business, they may use it to conceal assets as well. They may write paychecks to fake employees which they plan on voiding once your divorce becomes official. Or, they may delay signing new contracts until then, so they can avoid disclosing this income during proceedings.
Finding the assets
If your spouse is hiding assets, you will need help finding them. During the discovery period of your divorce, your attorney can request access to your spouse’s financial records. These documents may include tax returns and bank statements. And they will provide an accurate picture of your spouse’s assets. If they confirm your suspicions, they may have to forfeit these assets as part of your divorce settlement. Or, they may end up giving you a greater share of them than they otherwise would have.
While hidden assets can complicate your divorce, you nonetheless have ways to receive your fair share. Knowing how to discover them is crucial in achieving the settlement you deserve.