Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets? Here’s How to Find Out
San Diego, CA – Whether you were the one to file the divorce or it was your spouse, you hope that the other person would be straightforward about all assets. Unfortunately, people are not always honest, particularly during situations as serious as divorce. If your soon-to-be-ex-spouse can hide assets during the discovery and divorce processes, then they might be able to get away without having to divide that property. It’s not honest, but to the other person it’s an act of self-preservation, a desperate way to hang onto things that may belong to you.
The good news is that you don’t have to force the person to confess. An experienced and qualified divorce attorney can help you navigate not only the complex issues surrounding divorce, but your divorce lawyer can also help you uncover hidden communal assets.
- A Year’s Worth of Financial Documents: Your attorney may recommend that you hire a forensic accounting specialist, who is trained at sniffing out hidden money streams and accounts. However, regardless if you hire a forensic account or not, your attorney will likely ask you to produce the last year’s bank statements to ensure they match will all reported income. In some cases, this simple comparison will uncover funds or other property your spouse may be hiding.
- Debt Repayment: While scanning over financial documents, your attorney or forensic accountant will keep a close eye on any check payments to friends or family members, especially if they are recurring. This “repayment” strategy is common with spouses looking to hide assets, as the friends and family members can return the money later after the checks have been voided.
- Business Expenses: Your spouse’s attorney will allow you to examine your spouse’s business expenses. If he or she owns a small business, look for salaries paid to employees that don’t exist. You may not think your spouse capable of these types of “strategies,” but some people can become unpredictable when the division of their assets is on the line.
- Kids’ Funds: Has your spouse been putting money into your children’s savings accounts and/or college fund accounts? Look closely at all the amounts and ensure that they match all other financial records. This is another common way spouses try to hide assets, because who would think to look in accounts destined for the kids?
- Lifestyle Finances: Make sure you tell your attorney about any overt expenses that could have gone towards the division of assets during the divorce, such as new clothes, vacations, artwork, antiques, vehicles, and furniture.
- Investments Accounts: It should be noted that interest on municipal bonds or series EE savings bonds don’t need to be reported on tax returns, so these too may be rife with hidden assets that may be uncovered by your qualified divorce attorney .
- Miscellaneous: Of course, your spouse may be more ingenious than others when it comes to hiding assets. For example, his or her boss may be saving a promotion or raise until after the divorce is complete. These matters should be discussed with your lawyer for best results.
Get What You Are Entitled To
Your spouse shouldn’t be hiding any assets during the divorce process. With so many ways to tuck-away funds, it’s incredibly necessary to hire professionals to find those funds for you. If you suspect that your spouse may be hiding assets and you are considering divorce, all on the experienced California family lawyers at Griffith, Young, and Lass, serving the areas of Solana Beach, La Jolla, Carlsbad, San Diego and elsewhere throughout California.
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