If you have the feeling that your ex-spouse is hiding assets from you during your divorce process, you might be correct. The truth is, hiding assets is unlawful, but it’s also fairly common. If you suspect that the hidden assets exceed $500 or $1,000, you might want to expend some of your resources to look deeper into the matter.
Here are three general steps that divorce attorneys and forensic accountants use to investigate hidden assets:
Investigate the voluntary disclosures: Your spouse is required by law to voluntarily disclose all of his or her individual and joint assets with you as a part of the divorce process. Take a close look at these disclosures to see if there are any inappropriate omissions are errors.
Ask for involuntary disclosures: During discovery proceedings you can demand specific financial information from your ex. This information might be bank records, tax filings, investment account information and more. You can also ask specific question regarding financial topics. This can all be useful to find inconsistencies that point to hidden assets.
Formally depose your spouse: When you depose your spouse during divorce proceedings, this will involve a formal deposition in which your spouse gives a sworn testimony before a court reporter who makes a record of the answers. During the deposition your divorce attorney will ask specific questions to uncover more information about suspected missing assets.
It’s not always easy to track down hidden assets in a divorce. However, with the help of a skilled divorce lawyer and an experienced forensic accountant, you should be able to determine exactly what’s going on with your spouse’s financial situation.