Divorce can be complicated, especially when you are dealing with a high net worth and a spouse who has attempted to hide assets. Though it is difficult to keep financial secrets from your spouse these days, it does not stop people from trying. According to a report by CreditCards.com, nearly 15 million adults have a credit card or bank account that their live-in partner does not know about. Though it can be tempting to hide assets from one’s spouse during a divorce, it is not a good idea – in fact, it is illegal. If you think your spouse may be concealing financial resources during your divorce, here are five ways you can begin looking for hidden assets:
1. Look at Tax Returns
The first place you should begin looking for hidden assets is in your taxes. Income tax returns from at last the past five years are a good place to start. Look at where income has been coming from, whether that be your spouse’s job, interest, dividends, or capital gains or losses. If something seems off on the tax return, talk to your attorney about it.
2. Check Bank Statements
Another place to look could be bank or credit card statements. When examining these statements, you should look for any large transfers or withdrawals, especially patterns such as regular transfers or withdrawals of small amounts of money. Look for any payments made to family members or friends or custodial accounts for children. Also, look for any ATM withdrawals and note the amounts withdrawn – are these normal spending habits, or could they be an indication that your spouse is withdrawing and concealing marital funds?
3. Check Public Records
Another way you can find hidden assets is by checking public records for valuable information. Public records can be accessed at places such as county courthouses or city halls. Records you should be concerned with include:
- Tax assessments
- Loan applications
- Business records
- Real estate appraisals
- Property deeds
4. Search the House
Another way you to find hidden assets is through good, old-fashioned searching. Look in all the spots that your spouse could hide information – not only in the obvious places, such as his or her desk, filing cabinets, or journals, but also in closets, dresser drawers, and even under the mattress. You might just find clues about certain assets that he or she is hiding.
5. Hire an Attorney Skilled in Asset Discovery
Divorce is not easy for anyone, but if your spouse is hiding assets from you, it can be even more emotionally and financially stressful. If you suspect that your spouse is concealing funds or property from you, you should immediately contact a Lincolnwood divorce asset discovery lawyer. The experienced lawyers at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC can help you discover any assets that your spouse may be trying to keep from you and work to protect your rights throughout the divorce process. To schedule a consultation, call our office at 312-605-4041.