The end of a marriage is a difficult time, and sometimes that means that someone’s other half won’t play fair. If you are getting divorced and suspect that your spouse has been hiding money, property or other assets, you may need to act fast in order to ensure that you receive the money you are due.
The importance of uncovering hidden assets
The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) estimates that 41% of spouses that combine finances have been deceptive about money. During your divorce, this can mean that you will not get your fair share of property when it comes to property division. Not only can hidden assets impact the amount of money and property that you receive as a part of your divorce agreement, these hidden assets can also impact how much you might receive in spousal support.
Did your spouse have more information on your finances?
If your spouse was the one paying bills, balancing your finances, keeping up your retirement savings or making major purchases for the two of you, it is easier for them to hide assets. Getting a copy of their financial records and examining them closely is an important step to take if you believe that they may have been deceptive.
These records could uncover that your spouse has been stashing money from paychecks, small business income and even your joint accounts in a separate account. They could also show that your spouse has been hiding money in other ways—making fake payments or loans, claiming that property was lost when it wasn’t and other fraudulent behavior.
Discovering what has been hidden
If you suspect that your spouse has been hiding something, a skilled attorney can be one of your most important allies. Your attorney can formally request financial records and investigate them fully, uncovering where your spouse may have hidden money, property and other assets. According to Catherine Schnaubelt in Forbes, tax returns could be particularly useful in revealing inconsistencies in your spouse’s finances.
Your lawyer can also formally question your spouse in order to uncover the truth. If your spouse lies about hidden assets while under oath, they could face even more legal trouble down the road.
While financial deception can make your divorce even more stressful, it is possible to uncover what your spouse has hidden and ensure that you receive your fair share in your divorce.