Thinking your spouse is hiding assets can be stressful, and feeling you have no means to find out if your suspicions are correct, can be especially frustrating. Unfortunately, hidden assets are not uncommon especially during a divorce. However, powerful legal tools called “discovery” can help find hidden assets. If you have already divided assets, meaning creating a complete list of assets owned by each spouse, there still may very well be assets that are not laid out on the divorce table in order to avoid giving the other anything more. If you are going through a divorce it is important that you have an experienced divorce attorney, they will be able to assist you in uncovering any hidden assets to confirm your suspicions.
Getting Peace of Mind from a Divorce Attorney
Asking your spouse for all financial records may not be enough. Many will refuse to produce information thinking the other will never discover the true financial security acquainted with the marriage. Whether you suspect this to be true or not, it is best to seek out legal counsel to give you peace of mind. Seeking out a divorce attorney would be the most likely and most beneficial avenue to pursue as they have the ability to research paths you may not think of, including asset search and investigation.
The Discovery Process
You will need a divorce attorney to use the legal process to receive documentation, which is called the “discovery process.” Attorneys can demand documents, interrogate or request either by way of written statements or verbally admitting to questions. Inspections of properties and testimonies are all a vital part of this process. If the spouse still fails to produce documents, even though they are under oath, which happens, there are repercussions.
A divorce attorney is your best option for finding hidden assets, it is not uncommon for spouses to hide assets in predictable places. “Hiding out in the open” so to speak, yet the other spouse may not think to look in these places. Antiques, artwork can be under-reported as to its true value and other heirlooms may have their value under estimated. Looking for new purchases away from the house would be a great start also. Looking for extra income from his or her employment such as a bonus, stocks, a raise is income a spouse may try to hide because they know it can be split during a divorce. Any type of unreported income and cash earnings during your marriage is definitely worth pursuing. Made-up expenses where your spouse takes money from your accounts and gives it to someone to hold until after the divorce is yet another place to investigate, you may not think this can happen, but it certainly does. And let’s not forget the one thing no spouse wants to think about but can be a reality. Expenses paid for a significant other you may not have known about. Again, the list of ways to hide assets in predictable places is large, however so is the list of hidden assets in unpredictable places.
The Complicated Process of Divorce
Divorce can be a truly complicated process, and full of surprises you never dreamed a spouse would try. Ensure you are taking every step to protect yourself and all assets accrued during the marriage. There are so many ways these assets can be hidden, don’t find yourself a victim to this type of financial game playing. Whether you want to believe it or not, many spouses will not play fair during this process. There even may be secret accounts you never knew about during the whole course of your marriage, and they must be exposed. You may find out your spouse never fully told the truth about the finances; but finding the truth will ensure you do receive what is fair. And again, seeking legal counsel is the best way to ensure a clean and legitimate divorce settlement, as an experienced divorce attorney will have the ability to discover and investigate, with the legal system on your side.
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