Don't Try to Navigate the Legal System Alone

How Can Hidden Assets Be Found During a Divorce?

Both parties must disclose all assets during a divorce. This allows the court to make the proper decisions regarding asset division, which must be performed in a fair and equitable manner. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for one spouse to attempt to hide assets so they're not included in the process. To ensure your divorce progresses fairly, Forbes explains how assets are commonly hidden.

The first step involves knowing the methods commonly used to hide assets. While every divorce is different, many spouses attempt to hide assets by inflating the amount of debt he or she is subject to. He or she may also claim that the asset never existed in the first place by attempting to conceal evidence of its existence. Another method involves transferring the asset, be it property or money, to a third party for safekeeping. A person might also claim that the asset was somehow lost.

Now that you understand how people commonly hide assets, the next step is to determine how to uncover them. Once the divorce is in process, check out areas of your home where you keep important documents regarding banking accounts or homeownership. Make copies of these documents before your ex tries to do away with them, thereby making it much harder for you to prove their existence. You can also review tax documents for further insight.

For example, the Schedule E—Supplemental Income and Loss section of a tax return lists income and losses from things like rental properties or businesses. Hidden properties can often be discovered by checking the Schedule A—Itemized Deductions, which is used to declare property taxes. No matter what tact you take, make sure you secure experienced legal counsel, who will be able to provide further insight into locating hidden marital assets.