How Can You Find Hidden Assets In A Divorce?
In a divorce, it is important for both spouses to be honest about their assets and debts so that a fair settlement can be reached. However, if one spouse is being dishonest about his or her assets, the other spouse could be left feeling cheated. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets from you, here are some ways you can uncover them.
Search Public Records
Although it does not always happen, it is possible for a person to buy property and his or her spouse not be aware of the purchase. If the property was purchased after you and your spouse filed taxes, it could be next year before it is discovered. At that point, it might be too late to take action.
Even if you do not believe that your spouse owns property, you should start your search for any real property by checking the public records. You can contact the tax assessor's office or city hall in your city and conduct a search. Many cities and states have online searches that can be used.
Compare Pay With Bank Statements
At first glance, your spouse's bank statement might seem like it is on the up and up, but it is possible that the key to finding hidden assets is staring right at you. Compare your spouse's pay statements with deposits made to the bank. If there is money missing, it could be a sign that your spouse has a secret bank account.
For instance, if your spouse earned $1,000 during a pay period, deposited half of that and did not pay any bills of which you are aware, he or she might have a hidden account.
Check Business Invoices
If your spouse owns a business, check his or her invoices. Your spouse could be hiding funds by delaying invoices. By the time you and your spouse go to court to settle your divorce, he or she could have a tidy sum waiting to be invoiced.
Since the payments from customers has not actually been received, it might not be considered by the courts. After the divorce is final, your spouse could simply send out the delayed invoices and collect the funds without having to share them with you.
There are many other tricks that your spouse could use to hide assets until after the divorce is final. Work with your divorce lawyer and other experts to find the assets and get a fair settlement from the divorce.