A number of recent studies, including a survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education, found that 40 percent of American adults have been deceptive about money with their spouse, and about 75 percent admit that financial deceit has affected their relationships. Considering these statistics, it is not surprising that one of the most contentious issues in a divorce is the division of assets. It is not uncommon for one spouse to try to hide assets from the other in order to avoid having to share them in the divorce.
Finding Hidden Assets
When couples are dissolving their marriage, they are required to provide financial affidavits to the court which reveal any assets they have. Although providing false information to the court is illegal, many spouses would rather take their chances and lie about their assets so they do not have to share them with their soon-to-be ex-spouse.
If you are going through a divorce and think that your spouse is hiding assets from you, there are steps that you and your divorce attorney can take in order to find those assets, including:
Subpoenas: Your attorney can file a subpoena to any financial institutions that your spouse uses or at which you suspect he or she may have accounts. A subpoena will require the institution to provide all requested financial statements and canceled checks.
Forensic accountant: Unlike a traditional accountant, a forensic accountant also utilizes auditing and investigative skills to conduct an examination into an individual’s or company’s financial records. The goal of a forensic accountant is to identify inconsistencies and trace them back to any hidden revenue sources.
Private investigator: A private investigator can conduct surveillance on a spouse to document any activity which may indicate the existence of hidden assets. A private investigator can also conduct a skip search in an effort to uncover personal information about a spouse, such as credit information, utility bills, title information, and business licensing. These are all things that could indicate that your spouse is spending more than what he or she has listed as income on his or her financial affidavit.
The internet: Many people do not realize just how much information can be found on the internet. For example, if a spouse has purchased real estate as a way to hide assets, that transaction is most likely a public record published on the web. Social media sites, both personal and professional, can reveal all kinds of information as well, with posted photos and comments from friends and business colleagues which may reveal that a spouse has more funds than they have disclosed.
Your spouse’s browser history could also be a place to look. His or her history could reveal multiple visits to the website of a bank where your spouse maintains accounts.
Contact a Wheaton Asset Division Attorney
If you are considering a divorce and suspect that your spouse is hiding assets from you, contact a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney who can assist you in finding those assets and getting you the divorce settlement you deserve. Call Andrew Cores Family Law Group at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free initial consultation today.