The property division process is often the most contentious part of many divorces - and for good reason. With marital assets and liabilities on the line, obtaining an outcome that sets you up for success post-divorce is vital.
But what if you think your spouse is hiding assets? Knowing the steps you can take to uncover hidden assets can help you get the results you deserve in your divorce.
To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced divorce attorneys for your case, contact us online or via phone at (904) 701-0591.
What Are Signs My Partner Is Hiding Assets?
Knowing what to look for can help you identify whether your partner is really hiding assets.
Firstly, it's important to note that when you file for divorce, you and your spouse will both need to disclose all personal and marital property you own to the court. By the time divorce proceedings begin, you should have a pretty good idea of what personal property (property exempt from the property division process) your spouse has stated they own.
Finding property they haven't reported to the court - especially if it's a valuable material object, such as a piece of art, is a good indicator of hidden assets. Parties sometimes omit valuable assets they own when reporting property to the court to look more destitute than they are.
However, most people are a little more subtle about hiding assets. You may want to keep an eye out if:
- Your partner suddenly opens a separate bank account, or you notice they're withdrawing funds from a joint bank account you share without letting you know where those funds are going;
- Your spouse suddenly offers to take control of the marriage finances, or acts possessive over items such as bank statements that could help you identify hidden assets;
- Your spouse owns a business and claims that their revenue has shrunk significantly just after filing for divorce, or that they suddenly owe debts to friends or family members - they may be siphoning money through these individuals with the intent to reclaim it post-divorce;
- Your spouse suddenly starts "accidentally" overpaying on debts - they could intend to claim refunds for the overpayment post-divorce.
All of these tactics serve one purpose: They help make your spouse appear less well-off to the court, increasing the chances that the court will give them a favorable outcome during matters such as property division or child and spousal support disputes.
If you can prove your spouse is hiding assets during your divorce, the court can penalize them for their actions, helping you get a better outcome instead.
How Can I Uncover Hidden Assets?
Generally, you'll want to keep a close eye on financial documents. This includes bank statements, tax returns, personal loan and credit card statements, loan applications, purchase records for property in your spouse's name, and business records (if they own a business). Finding discrepancies in these documents could help you uncover hidden assets.
A third-party expert witness, such as a forensic accountant or asset appraiser, could also be invaluable in helping you uncover hidden assets. These professionals make a living by identifying missing assets, and can help you collect and present definitive proof to the court that supports your case.
At the Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A., our team will help you push for the best possible outcome in your divorce. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (904) 701-0591.