If you are going through a divorce, property division is an important focus. However, some spouses hide assets to avoid having to share them with the other spouse.
If you suspect that your spouse is not being fully transparent about finances, there are some common ways to discover them. If you need to, you can enlist additional help.
Inspect financial documents carefully
According to FindLaw, you may be able to find out some things by investigating on your own. Inspect joint banking accounts, credit cards and other jointly held statements carefully. Notice items that you did not know you had paid for, or see if there are any errors or missing information. You can also get on your spouse’s social media accounts and see if there are any new or expensive items in pictures or videos that you were not aware of. You can also independently appraise items that you think your spouse under- or overvalued.
Use the legal system
Oftentimes, it is difficult to know if there are hidden assets or if your spouse has opened other credit cards or accounts in his or her own name. In these situations, the court can help. A judge can ask specific questions or demand financial documents, such as tax returns, trust documents, retirement account statements or property titles. Your spouse must legally and honestly respond to these requests.
If you truly think that your spouse is hiding something, and it is a high-asset divorce, it is often worth hiring professionals, such as a private investigator. CNBC.com discusses that cryptocurrency has become a fairly common way to hide assets, and it is very difficult to track it down. If you suspect this is the case, forensic experts have the ability to investigate information stored electronically.