Divorce is often emotionally charged and contentious. It can lead people to make decisions they would not otherwise make, including hiding assets. Financial disclosures are important for determining settlements, child support and even alimony. You might think your spouse would never hide assets but it is important to understand the basics anyway.
There are a few key ways to find hidden assets in the midst of a divorce.
Look at past tax returns
In most cases, a spouse that hides assets in a divorce is not hiding them from the Internal Revenue Service. Gather the last several years of your tax returns and look for any sudden alternation in your spouse’s annual income reporting.
Ask the bank for statements and canceled checks
The statements alone can tell you how much money moves in and out of your accounts, but these documents do not always give you the full picture. Ask for copies of canceled checks for those periods as well to help paint a broader picture. Canceled checks may help you spot funds that were funneled somewhere else.
Check with the town clerk
If your spouse used hidden cash for a down payment on a piece of property, the town clerk will have ownership records. Property ownership is usually a matter of public record, so you can find any property assets easily.
Sometimes a spouse is more adept at hiding assets, which can make them harder to find. Forensic accounting and legal support can help you navigate the process when needed.