One of the most basic elements of the divorce process is the division of marital property. Some couples already have an agreement in place that clearly states what they will do with their assets in the event that their union comes to an end. But, most couples will have to either negotiate a property settlement arrangement or prepare for a family court hearing wherein a judge will divide their shared resources.
The goal is a fair solution based on the unique nature of a family’s circumstances. However, some people will try to secure an unfair or biased outcome by hiding assets from their spouse and the courts so that they don’t have to share. These are some of the common locations where people find hints about possible hidden assets during divorce.
1. Tax papers and income records
One of the easiest ways to spot hidden income and secret banking accounts involves reviewing household income and tax statements. If there is a discrepancy between what someone thought their spouse earned and their actual take-home pay, that gap might represent money set aside in a hidden account somewhere.
2. New apartments, storage units and safety deposit boxes
Sometimes, people physically move assets so that they won’t be part of the inventory process when putting together a list of shared property. Someone planning to divorce me have started moving property out of a shared home months ago.
They may have moved assets to an apartment where they will live after the force or into a safety deposit box or special storage unit they rented specifically for this purpose. Even if someone cannot locate the storage unit, receipts showing that one exists could be a warning sign that physical property is no longer present in the marital home.
3. The inventory of assets
One of the easiest ways to spot hidden assets is to thoroughly go over the report of personal property created by a spouse. They may completely omit certain resources, like retirement savings, or they might intentionally under-report what those assets are actually worth. People who spot warning signs of such problematic behavior can bring in the help they need to track down those assets and hold their spouse accountable.
Finding hidden assets is only one of many necessary steps someone will have to complete to secure a fair outcome during divorce. Speaking with an experienced legal professional can help any individual who is navigating this process to better ensure that their interests and rights remain protected.