There are many things that can be done to uncover your spouse’s hidden assets during the divorce discovery process. Unfortunately, you cannot rely on your spouse’s financial statement which often differ from tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, cancelled checks, brokerage account statements, and, credit card and other financial statements.
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Many times spouse’s are shocked to discover that their significant other has hidden assets which they hope to keep after a divorce. Although upsetting, it is not unusual to find out that one spouse is hiding assets from their spouse. Should you discover hidden assets, even after your divorce is finalized, you will still be able to go back to court to get your community share.
Locating Hidden Assets
Some of the more effective measures to locate hidden assets include:
- Check all tax returns and 1099s to ensure that all income was reported. This does not negate the possibility that your spouse has also deceived the IRS but most of us are careful and want to avoid a tax audit.
- Look at your spouse’s pay stubs to verify your spouse’s income. A paystub may include bank account information or deposits being made to a retirement plan.
- Review bank statements to make sure that all the income was deposited. Also look for withdrawals or transfers to other accounts.
- Do a public records search to locate property that may be listed in your spouse’s name. They may have purchased land which will be reflected in the tax roles.
- Review cancelled checks used to pay bills to make sure that all bills are not being paid out of a disclosed bank account.
- Subpoena to your spouse’s employer and request benefit information such as, a deferred compensation plan, stock options or retirement plans.
- Make sure the total monthly family expenses do not exceed the monthly income which would indicate that there is income from another source.
- Review financial statements for any transfers to undisclosed accounts and subpoena the backup documentation to see who owns these accounts.
- Review the credit card statements, cancelled checks, and wire transfers for significant purchases that may not have been disclosed.
- Depose your spouse to question them about your financial matters.
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