Need help finding hidden assets? If you are considering, or midway through a divorce, there is the possibility that your spouse would like to hang on to more than his or her fair share of the marital assets. In some cases, there may have been a secret cache throughout the entire marriage, while in other situations, a hasty burial of resources may be underway. In any case, the only way to get a fair shake is to uncover whatever it is that your spouse would like to hide. An experienced local divorce attorney could be key to success in that department.
Finding Hidden Assets – What Should You Look for?
All kinds of assets could be hidden. Among the most common are:
- Mutual funds;
- Insurance policy cash value;
- Gun collections;
- Artwork and antiques;
- Other undervalued property.
How and Where to Look
How does one go about finding hidden assets? Those experienced in the matter have several ideas. It is essential to request documentation relating to all financial accounts and records when your divorce is in the discovery phase.
- Start with tax returns. Since most people do what they can to avoid the ire of the IRS, you might find indications of resources you had no idea about previously. Going back through documents for a minimum of five years should reveal inconsistencies that could be important.
- Checking accounts could reveal surprises like investment properties or other income-generating enterprises.
- Records from savings accounts may point you toward closeted assets that your spouse would like to keep mum about. Look for unusual deposits and/or withdrawals.
- Look into courthouse documents, where loan applications can be found. It is important to take a peek at such applications because assets and value estimations will be there.
- The county tax assessor will have records related to land or home purchases.
- New purchases for artwork, antiques, vehicles, and so forth might be a prime place to hide assets, as your spouse undervalues such items.
- Custodial accounts are a prime place to place money under a child’s social security number.
- Investments with unreportable interest, such as certain bonds, are easy to hide because many spouses are unaware of their existence.
- Find out if your spouse’s employer is delaying a bonus, stock option, or other benefit in order to protect it from you.
- Assets might also be hidden with other friends or family, so looking into those relationships might be worthwhile.