As you and your spouse begin divorce proceedings, you will expect to receive your fair share of marital property. Yet, your spouse might have other plans in mind for your assets. They may not want to part with any of them, and they may have decided that hiding them is worth the risk. If you suspect your spouse is concealing assets, you must understand how to track them down.
Common hiding places
To avoid parting with marital property, your spouse may have gone to great lengths to hide it. Some of their subterfuge might have happened in plain sight, yet other acts may have happened on the sly. If your spouse owns a business, they may use it to conceal assets until your divorce finalizes.
If you believe your spouse is hiding assets, some common ways to do so include:
- Delaying a bonus or raise until after your divorce
- Delaying new business contracts until after your divorce
- Paying salaries to fake employees
- Transferring assets to the ownership of relatives or friends
- Transferring assets to offshore accounts
- Undervaluing art or other valuables
Tracking down assets
Finding hidden assets is difficult to do alone. With the help of your attorney, you will want to work with a forensic accountant, who has ability to track these down. The accountant will analyze your spouse’s financial documents – like account statements and tax returns – to appraise their economic situation. Their findings may lead them to uncover funds or property you were unaware of. A forensic account may also analyze your spouse’s known assets, like a business, to estimate their true value. Any information they discover could affect the division of your marital property.
If your spouse has hidden assets, finding them will not be easy. Yet, you deserve to receive your fair share of marital property. With the help of professionals, you can work to ensure your settlement reflects the true value of your estate.