Divorce can be a very difficult and emotional process, especially when it comes to dividing assets that the couple accumulated while they were married.
Unfortunately, sometimes a spouse will hide assets from the other spouse, so they are not included in the property division. There are several options to uncover hidden assets that are helpful to know.
Hiding assets can include transferring money into bank accounts the other spouse cannot access, undervaluing business assets, real estate or other valuables, delaying certain income like a bonus to avoid reporting it or transferring assets to family members and friends.
There are consequences for hiding assets, including reopening the divorce settlement to ensure fair property division and financial penalties. The spouse who hid the assets may be required to pay the other spouse’s legal fees as well.
It may be helpful to engage professionals to find hidden assets. They can evaluate financial documents, like tax returns and bank statements to review questionable transactions. They can also review the other spouse’s income to determine whether their earnings reflect what was reported to the court.
It may be necessary to require the other spouse to answer questions in court about their financial situation and where the assets are located, including whether another person holds the assets.
Some spouses have safes in their home or safe deposit boxes through a bank or other financial institution, which can also be a helpful place to look for physical assets.
If a spouse needs help uncovering hidden assets, there is assistance available.