Finding Hidden Assets During a Divorce
If you think your spouse is hiding assets from you during a divorce, you are most likely concerned and wondering how to determine your next best steps. First, you should consult with an experienced lawyer familiar with the process of forensic accounting and the ways individuals can hide their assets. Next, you will want to familiarize yourself with how an individual may go about accomplishing this.
How to Look for Hidden Assets
Some ways to look for hidden assets include but are not limited to the following:
Check tax returns
If your spouse is committing financial infidelity, the chances he/she is also doing so with the IRS is highly unlikely. You can check previous tax returns to look for any inconsistencies in income or real estate holdings.
Your spouse may purchase high value items, such as a car or new watch, to sell after the divorce is finalized. These are technically disguised hidden assets and it is important to look out for these types of purchases.
Be on the lookout for checking or savings accounts you are unaware of
Checking or savings account statements could alert you to financial transactions you did not know anything about. Additionally, your spouse may open a new bank account in their name and start making small transfers from your marital account into this new account. As these transfers are small, this may go unnoticed, but will add up over time. Therefore, it is important to keep a close eye on your bank statements during the divorce process.
Also, it is imperative to ask to obtain a copy of all financial accounts during the discovery phase of your divorce so you can see if your spouse has any other accounts under his/her name that you are not a part of.
Go to the courthouse
If your spouse has borrowed money from a bank or loan company, their loan application will be on file at the courthouse. The application will include a list of all their assets and an estimation of their value.
Pay a visit to the county tax assessor’s office
The tax assessor will have all information regarding real estate property purchases on file. Any land or home owned by your spouse will be listed with its taxable value in their records.
The best way to find hidden assets is to first speak with your attorney to create a plan. An experienced attorney will be able to procure this information for you either during the discovery part of the divorce or through the help of a forensic accountant.
How an Attorney from Our Firm Can Help Uncover Hidden Assets
Hidden assets can complicate a divorce as your spouse may have closed bank accounts, obtained new loans, sold property, or spent or gifted certain assets. While it is often difficult to track down every penny, the right attorney along with other professionals, can help you uncover these assets before you sign an equitable distribution agreement.
With over three decades of experience resolving divorce cases, our attorney has the professionalism and skill to assist you with yours – no matter how complex. If you need advice determining how to uncover hidden assets, give us a call today.
Contact us online or call us at (727) 312-1112 to book an appointment.