Complex assets often lead to difficult divorces. The more property you share with your spouse, the greater the potential for conflict regarding the way that you handle your marital assets. Sometimes, one spouse will set out to deprive the other of their fair share of the marital estate. Hiding assets is a serious concern in high-asset and complex divorces.
If you know where to look for warning signs of hidden assets, then you will have an easier time tracking down all of your marital property and demanding a fair property division solution. Where should you look for warning signs of hidden assets?
In household financial records
Getting your own copies of financial records like income tax returns and bank statements, is an important part of preparing for divorce. Going over those records carefully or with the help of a professional, like a forensic accountant, could help you find a discrepancy between what you earned and what wound up in your bank account. Financial statements can help you find evidence of a likely hidden bank account or a history of frequent cash withdrawals.
In your marital home
Looking through your house can be an important step in the property division process. What was the last time that you actually looked over your spouse’s collection of jewelry or their golf clubs? Personal property on its own may not interest you, but its value could affect your divorce.
If your spouse doesn’t report their personal property, you can’t claim your share of the value of those assets in the divorce. Knowing what you have in your house or what you have historically had that is no longer present can help you spot omissions in your spouse’s disclosure of assets.
In offices, storage units or safety deposit boxes
Especially when it comes to physical assets and documentation, someone planning to divorce and hoping to hide certain property will likely move those assets somewhere that isn’t as readily accessible to their spouse. Secure deposit boxes at banks, free-standing storage units, offices and even the homes of friends and family can hide assets that technically belong to both of you.
Tracking down all of your shared marital assets is one of the most important parts of handling complex property division in a divorce.