When divorcing, there are often hurt feelings, leading to conflict and the need to “get back” at one another. Unfortunately, these emotions can also lead your spouse to hide assets from you to keep them out of the property division process.
Locating those assets may help you get more money or access to an asset you didn’t know existed.
The challenge of dealing with hidden assets
Unfortunately, discovering and locating hidden assets isn’t always easy. In many cases, you may not even be aware of their existence.
For example, your spouse may have purchased stock and never told you or have accounts opened in their name only, tucked away so you wouldn’t find them. Sometimes, divorcing people put assets “away” to ensure you don’t find them or get any benefit from them when you divorce.
Finding hidden assets
When filing for divorce, you need to gather financial documents and statements. You can ask your spouse about stocks or retirement benefits to see if they will be upfront, but don’t count on this strategy working.
Once you have searched on your own, consider hiring a forensic accountant to find hidden assets. The job of this professional is to take a deep dive into your spouse’s financial situation to find missing or hidden assets they may have. Once found, you can add these to your divorce proceedings.
Adding hidden assets to your divorce proceedings
If hidden assets are found, you can request a divorce modification to have them added to the settlement. Also, most courts don’t appreciate those who hide assets, which may work in your favor when your divorce is being finalized.
Part of protecting your rights in a divorce is making sure you receive what you are entitled to. Part of this is locating missing or hidden assets your spouse may have.