If you believe your spouse could hide assets during your divorce, you may be in danger of losing hundreds or thousands of dollars. Although hiding assets is technically a crime, without the right legal team, it can be difficult to prove.
What kinds of assets do people hide?
People hold all sorts of assets. Over a person’s lifetime, they may have invested in many different opportunities. They might hide these from you, their family or their friends as they gather value.
These investments might include:
- Hidden cash
- Stocks, mutual fund investment portfolios
- Insurance policies
- Collectibles, art, antiques
It is also easier than you may realize for the average person to open an offshore bank account. They can open an account at any of the international offices and they can control them with online mobile banking apps. If your spouse tries to hide these, it can carry a hefty criminal penalty.
How do you find assets?
If your spouse hasn’t been honest during the “voluntary disclosure” portion of your divorce proceedings, you can still find hidden assets. However, you might need legal help.
One of the ways to find hidden assets quickly and efficiently is to hire the right forensic accountant. Your lawyer can make a timed formal request for your spouse to produce documents for the accountant to investigate. Your spouse is bound to comply with these requests. This can also happen within a court setting.
It is never advisable to personally try to look through your spouse’s things to find hidden valuables. Even if an asset such as a house is in both of your names, you should proceed with caution and follow any legal advice about entering, investigating, photographing or filming around or inside.
If you are worried that your spouse will be difficult or deceptive during your divorce, you may want to explore your legal options. Without the right legal team, you may not receive all that you are owed.