Many spouses will make an effort to try to hide some of their income and assets in order to avoid having to payout during their divorce. There are a few ways that you can easily spot these hidden assets.
1. Make sure your attorney is an actual DIVORCE attorney.
While you may be able to work a great deal with a lawyer that is a friend of a friend or family member it is important that you hire a lawyer that has a concentration in divorce law. These lawyers deal with divorces every day and will know what to look for.
2. Identify marital assets
If your spouse received an inheritance or a gift during your marriage and kept those assets separate, they are, likely, not marital assets; however, most everything else would be, unless you've both agreed otherwise in a prenuptial or marital agreement.
3. Do not rely on your spouse to be honest
Many people are quite surprised with how dishonest they discover that their spouse has become. Make sure to carefully check the below areas for ways that your spouse maybe hiding their income and assets.
* Real Estate Rents
* Pending Tax Refunds
* Tax Overpayments, Credits, or Carryovers
* Retirement Accounts and Retirement Plan Distributions
* Bonds in Name of "Bearer"
* Bank or Investment Accounts in Child, Friend, Family Member, or Business Partner's Name
* Payments to Child, Friend, Family Member, or Business Partner's Name
* Debt Repayments to Child, Friend, Family Member, or Business Partner's Name
* Big gifts to Child, Friend, Family Member, or Business Partner's Name
* Cash and / or Travelers' Checks in Safe or Safe Deposit Box
* Skimming from Business
* Delayed Raise, Stock Option, or Bonus
* Delayed Closing of Lucrative Contract
* Time Shares
* Hidden Art, Jewelry, Antiques, and Other Collections
* Foreign Trusts
4. Pull your credit report
Your credit report will list all current and recent history in regards to your credit. Make sure to check this report thoroughly during the process of your divorce proceedings.
5. Sort through all financial documents
It will be extremely helpful to your lawyer if you are able to provide them with any financial records. Records such as income tax returns, credit reports, accountant work papers, loan applications, bank statements, investment statements, credit card receipts and statements, ATM statements, pay stubs, and financial statements are all items that can help to provide your lawyer with information that they will need during the divorce. You have a right to compensation information from your spouse's human resource department.
6. Learn that the internet is your friend
There is a lot of information available on the web and you should use this to your advantage. Check for public records or other information on your spouse.
7. Remember not everyone is your friend
Divorce has a way of causing family and friends to take sides, and this means that someone you may consider to be a close friend might actually help your spouse hide money. Make a list of any potential people that you spouse may use to help hide money.
Where to Get Help
If you are considering legal separation or divorce, it is in your best interest to get qualified legal assistance from a licensed divorce attorney. Your attorney will guide you through the process; answer your questions; and advocate for your legal rights, financial, and emotional well-being and that of your children.