One of the most important and often frustrating aspects of divorce is the division of assets. However, if your ex-spouse attempts to hide assets from you, the process can become even more difficult. The NY Times notes that those navigating a divorce may involve friends and family in financial infidelity both before and during a divorce.
If you believe your ex-spouse has assets he or she is not claiming or attempting to hide, there are several actions you can take to uncover them.
Do hidden assets exist?
Before you move ahead with attempting to find hidden assets, knowing what signs to look for may help you. Your ex-spouse may try to hide assets in several ways, including:
- Hiding vehicles or transferring ownership to a friend
- Withholding financial information about secret bank accounts and other assets you may not be aware of
- Resisting discussions regarding marital assets
- Hiding cash
These clues may point to an attempt to hide money or property during divorce proceedings, especially if your ex believes he or she has a right to them.
How do you find hidden assets?
Because divorce proceedings are subject to certain laws, you have the right to request as many financial documents as you wish, including deposit and withdrawal statements from your bank, account statements and tax documents. If you have a family accountant, you can request assistance with searching for accounts or uncovering attempts at hiding assets, something your ex may do if he or she acts resistant when it comes to dividing them.
A judge may award you half of any hidden assets uncovered during a financial investigation even if it is discovered after your divorce case is concluded. In some cases, the judge may also award you some or all of the party’s community share as a penalty for failing to disclose the asset.