Besides taking an emotional toll on the children, a divorce can get messy as some spouses try to hide their assets to protect them during the asset division process. This case is especially prevalent in high-net-worth divorces.
But how will you know that your spouse is hiding assets? Below are some signs that your soon-to-be ex is hiding assets from you:
- They have a private mailbox that you are not authorized to open
- They claim their income is low but have a lot of business expenses they cover out of pocket
- They avoid sharing their financial information with you
- There is a sudden lifestyle improvement
How can you locate hidden assets?
One of the best ways to find hidden assets is through divorce discovery, especially if you suspect your spouse may not willingly disclose their financial information.
This discovery process may include the following:
- Demands for documents: This includes financial information like tax returns, loan applications, financial statements and account records.
- Interrogations: Your spouse will be required to answer various questions in writing. They might also be required to admit to statements that you think are true.
- Inspections: During this process, you can ask to inspect properties like jewelry, wine collection, or even a safe box.
- Depositions: In some cases, your spouse will be required to provide oral testimony, also known as a deposition under oath.
- Subpoenas: If your spouse refuses to give the information you need for the divorce process, you can subpoena the documents.
Hire a forensic accountant
A forensic accountant can help you discover hidden assets by reviewing your spouse’s financial records and identifying any fraud-related inconsistencies.
While many spouses get tempted to hide assets, this practice is illegal. If you think this is happening in your divorce, it’s wisest to seek legal assistance if you suspect your spouse could be hiding some assets from you.