Hidden Assets and Divorce
Parties to a divorce have a duty to report all assets that are community property. However, it is not altogether uncommon for one spouse to try to hide assets. This might be done simply in an effort of self-protection against loss, but more often it is done with the intention of preventing a fair division of assets. To protect your best interests it is important that you work with a strong and experienced College Station family law attorney.
How Do I Know if My Estranged Spouse Is Hiding Assets?
The quick answer to this is that you may not. The first thing that needs to be done is to hire a College Station family law attorney to put together an accurate valuation of the marital property and assets. The other spouse should also create his own valuation. It is likely that his numbers will be somewhat different from yours. This does not mean that he is trying to hide assets.
It is best to conduct a thorough evaluation of all marital assets before filing for divorce. Make copies for yourself of all documents which reflect the marital estate, including:
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
- Paycheck stubs
- Stocks and bonds
- Titles to vehicles and boats
- Home purchase and mortgage information
Once you have this, it will be more difficult for the other spouse to hide anything that is reflected in the evaluation.
How Do I Search for Hidden Assets?
This is a much more difficult matter. Indeed, if your spouse has been squirreling money away in a separate account for some time, it may be nearly impossible to find this out. That said, there are many creative ways a divorcing spouse may try to hide assets, including:
- Use of another person to receive money paid to the spouse
- Collusion with the employer to hold off on any raises until after the divorce is final
- Setting up a custodial account ostensibly for one of the children
- Hiding of cash and traveler's checks
- Unexplained payments to a party you do not know
- Skimming of cash from a business owned by the couple
In some cases a forensic accountant may need to be brought in to help uncover hidden assets.
If You Suspect Your Estranged Spouse of Hiding Assets
If you believe that the spouse you are divorcing is attempting to hide assets, it is vital that you work with a College Station family law attorney who will fight for your rights. Call Peterson Law Group today to arrange a meeting at 979-703-7014.