How Do People Find Hidden Assets in Divorce?

When it comes time to divorce, you and your spouse must disclose certain information, including your finances. Some spouses don’t want to part with their assets, causing them to hide assets and omit information on financial documents. Not only can this have a negative impact on the case, but it can lead to civil or even criminal repercussions. 

But how do spouses find hidden assets? A divorce attorney can use their skills and resources to uncover hidden assets and fight for a fair outcome on your behalf. 

Spouses Often Hide Assets

The divorce process requires cooperation from both spouses. Spouses must disclose their financial status, as this assists in critical divorce matters, including property division and spousal support. 

However, to avoid full disclosure of finances, some spouses hide assets. Hiding assets can involve actions such as opening offshore bank accounts or putting assets in another person’s name. When a spouse hides assets, they are under the mistaken belief they’ll never be found and won’t count.

It’s usually easier for spouses to hide assets when the other spouse is left out of financial matters. Therefore, if your spouse handles the finances in the relationship, they have a greater chance of concealing assets without you knowing. 

Looking for Hidden Assets in Your Divorce

Fortunately, divorce attorneys commonly have experience handling cases involving hidden assets. For this reason, your lawyer can recommend certain tactics to find your spouse’s hidden assets.

Using Discovery Tools

During the discovery process, each spouse’s attorney has the opportunity to request and acquire details from the other. Certain discovery tools, like requests for production and depositions, can assist your divorce lawyer in getting financial information from your spouse, which they can review to try to find hidden assets. 

Obtaining Financial Documents

Your divorce lawyer can obtain numerous financial documents from your spouse. Depending on the information contained within these documents, you may find some indication that they’re hiding assets. Important financial documentation includes tax returns, bank statements, and business records. 

Looking at Transfers to Friends and Family

One of the most common ways people hide assets is by transferring assets to their family members and friends. Spouses often believe that, by doing this, the assets are untouchable. Then, once the divorce is over, these assets are often transferred back into the ex-spouse’s name.

It’s important to closely examine financial records for transfers to individuals close to the spouse. While not every transaction is an attempt to conceal assets, it is worth looking into and asking questions. 

Hiring a Forensic Accountant

In some cases, your divorce attorney may recommend hiring a forensic accountant for your case. While there are extra fees for their services, forensic accountants are skilled at combing through financial records, looking for inconsistencies, and locating hidden assets. 

Seeking Legal Help for Your Divorce Case

While concealing assets is wrong and can have serious consequences, some spouses take the chance in hopes of saving themselves money. If you know or believe your spouse is hiding assets, discuss this with your divorce attorney. Your divorce lawyer can determine how best to proceed with your case. 

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