The property division aspect of divorce allows parties to protect their individual financial interests and receive their fair share of the marital properties. However, the process will not work in terms of fairness if one of the parties fails to disclose or intentionally hides assets from the other party and the court. These concealed properties could be in the form of a bank account, real estate, personal property or other investments.
If one of the spouses suspects that the other is hiding assets during the divorce, it is crucial to act quickly and search for evidence that would uncover the act.
Gathering useful information from people around you
Using one’s connections and relationships can be helpful when uncovering hidden assets. An ex’s family, friends, coworkers or employees may know information about their financial dealings or at least suspicious financial behavior. This can guide the other spouse to identify what assets are hidden and where they are concealed.
When the soon-to-be-ex-spouse leaves a paper trail
A reliable way to identify the existence of hidden assets is by checking that spouse’s financial documents for any inconsistencies. These documents include pay slips, bank statements, tax returns, investment records and business reports.
If the suspected spouse sufficiently and transparently provided all their financial details to the court, there should be no inconsistencies in all the relevant documents. Otherwise, the court could order that spouse to pay the other to cover those assets. Moreover, the guilty spouse could face civil and criminal penalties because concealing assets is a form of fraud.
Suspicions confirmed: What is the next step?
A divorce party who successfully uncovers hidden assets should first consult with a competent attorney to further confirm their claim, solidify their evidence and determine the best method to maximize their benefits. This would also protect the party’s financial interests while setting their expectations.