The property division proceedings in your divorce establish your financial future for your life after marriage. The courts usually try their best to be reasonable and fair in the way that they split property. Unfortunately, your spouse could try to make property division less fair to you and more beneficial to themselves.
Hiding assets is one way for someone to manipulate divorce in their own favor. There are at least three places that you will have to check for hidden assets when creating an inventory of your marital property prior to divorce.
Look for hidden bank accounts
The name of the owner of a bank account or investment account is less important than the funds used to open the account. Although your spouse may have accounts only in their name, if they used income acquired during marriage or from the sale of marital assets to open that account, the amount deposited is likely marital property.
Try to find signs of a safe deposit box or storage unit
Monthly or annual bills payable to a bank or a storage facility could be red flags that your spouse has something hidden. Whether it is a collection of antiques purchased during your marriage or a horde of cash they have slowly accrued over many months, those assets could also be marital property that they should share with you in the divorce.
Don’t overlook physical property that your spouse will likely keep
Not everything valuable is a financial instrument. Sometimes, personal property like jewelry or designer clothing can be worth thousands of dollars. While you may not want your spouse’s designer suits, establishing their value allows you to ask for a fair share any assets acquired during your marriage, even if you don’t want the property itself.
Tracking down hidden assets can be difficult and may require professional help – perhaps from a forensic accountant. However, uncovering those hidden assets is the only way to secure a fair outcome during property division in your divorce. Your family law attorney can help you.