Divorce is consistently listed as being among the most difficult and stressful of any life event an individual may experience during his or her lifetime. This makes sense considering the significant life changes and mental and emotional difficulties that frequently accompany the divorce process. In some cases, this already tumultuous and trying time is compounded by a soon-to-be ex-spouse's attempts to hide assets.
For most individuals going through a divorce, finances are a major concern and some spouses will go to great lengths to attempt to hide assets that would otherwise be considered part of the marital pot and therefore divided accordingly. For anyone who is planning or going through a divorce, it's important to be vigilant and to take steps to ensure that all assets are identified, properly valued and accounted for.
While anyone, regardless of wealth, could have an ex who attempts to hide assets; divorce cases involving hidden assets are especially prevalent among couples of considerable wealth. Thankfully, a divorce attorney who is accustomed to handling complex and high-assets divorces can assist in uncovering these assets and ensure an individual receives his or her fair share in a divorce settlement.
The following are some of the things that a husband or wife who suspects that a spouse is squirreling away assets would be wise to investigate.
- Tax returns - both personal and business for undisclosed deductions, capital gains and gambling wins or losses
- Business expense reports - delayed or uncollected bonuses, questionable expenses and payments
- Bank statements - review activity for last five years and investigate any suspicious purchases and withdrawal
Source: Financial Advisor, "Divorcing Spouses Warned To Search For Hidden Assets, " Maureen Nevin Duffy and Karen Demasters, Oct. 12, 2015