Going through a divorce is overwhelming, but it is important to perform due diligence to make sure asset division is fair and equitable. If a spouse does not feel the other is being honest about what money and assets he or she has, it is worth doing a little digging to find out if there is any concealing of assets.
According to Forbes, it is a good idea to begin the search for hidden assets early on, and even before divorce initiation, if possible. One typically hides assets in one of four ways. These include transferring them to another party, creating fake debt, declaring lost assets or denying they exist.
One of the first places to start looking is joint and individual tax returns. The schedules that provide the best information about potential hidden assets are A, B, C, D and E. These may identify additional properties, interest from assets, royalties, investment gains and business-gained assets.
Another good place to look is the mortgage loan application and associated documents, as these include all income sources, assets and liabilities. It is also smart to look in potential hiding places such as safe deposit boxes and safes.
According to the Huffington Post, it may be worth spending the money to hire a forensic attorney or a private investigator. This is especially a good idea when it comes to high asset divorces.
If the court finds that a spouse hid assets, there may be multiple consequences. A loss of credibility can negatively affect the outcome of a judge’s decision. There may also be penalties such as monetary sanctions.