It’s tough to hear, but many spouses attempt to hide assets during a divorce. When assets are hidden, they’ll fail to be included among marital property, which the court divvies up equitably among both spouses. Forbes offers the following tips on how you can locate any assets your spouse may be concealing.
It’s best to begin your asset search as soon as possible. Once the divorce is in progress your spouse may have already begun concealing documentation and other paperwork regarding assets. that’s why it’s a good idea to take an accounting of your finances and things you own before actually filing for divorce. However, if you fail to act quickly enough there are still methods you can use to locate any marital property that’s not being listed.
Fortunately, people tend to use the same four methods when hiding assets. First, a person might deny the existence of an asset altogether. This tactic can be a bit difficult since owning an asset leaves a paper trail in most cases. The second method involves transferring the asset to another person. Your ex-spouse may also claim that the asset has somehow left his or her possession, even though that’s not the case. Finally, your ex may inflate debt or create a false debt to throw you off track.
Previous tax returns are a great place to verify your ex’s claims about assets. Even if your spouse is failing to report certain items, there are other places where you can uncover evidence. The section listing itemized deductions is a good place to start. Here you will find tax information on sources of income that hasn’t been disclosed to you or your legal team. You can also compare the information listed in the interest and dividends section to the listing of assets provided by your spouse. Having professional legal assistance is helpful in this case, as an attorney will know just where to look for concealed items.