Locating Hidden Assets During a Divorce
When a couple starts to divorce, one of the first things to go is trust. You may be aware of all the assets you have, but there could be assets that have been hidden during the marriage. Before you start to talk about Divorce, try to get a good handle on the assets that exist and then rule out the potential there are any hidden assets. Sometimes when a divorce is pending, spouses can start to hide their assets. Tracking this activity can be tricky.
We have assisted many divorce attorneys, divorce mediators, and divorcing couples in verifying assets or in locating unreported or hidden assets or income. Some common ways that people try to hide their assets in divorce are by outright denial that any hidden assets exist. Sometimes they transfer them to a friend or other family member or might claim they were lost.
One the ways you can search for potentially hidden assets are past tax returns. Certain reported items can raise potential red flags and help you uncover hidden assets. When reviewing tax returns and deductions from previous years, start to look for changes in year to year tax returns such as major fluctuations or large increases or decreases. Here are some things to look for when reviewing tax returns.
First look at sections of the tax return where someone can hide expenses for assets such as self employment income or depreciation, which can indicate the possession of other assets hidden in entities, corporate or otherwise. These corporate entities may be holding assets on behalf of your subject such as corporations, partnerships or trusts.
Are there changes from year to year where business expenses have increased like things such as repeated travel to one specific place? Is there additional income from dividends or investments or deductions for real estate or property taxes? Don’t forget to look for capital gains indicating that someone has gotten rid of potentially hidden high value assets.
Finding these types of issues in past tax returns can be difficult, but identifying major changes and patterns can help your attorney better represent you. Asset Search Plus can help with an Asset Search Report, which can help uncover hidden assets to get to the heart of your spouse’s finances. Hidden or non-disclosed assets in a divorce are common. Be sure nothing is left on the table by conducting an Asset Search at the start of the process.
In addition to tax returns, look in potential physical hiding places, such as safes, safe deposit boxes and other places within your home may reveal the existence of property and other information to assist you in the divorce process.
Also another important source of financial information are mortgage closing documents. These types of documents often contain “hidden” information, since lenders require you to list all of your assets, and liabilities, and other sources of income that are required when you apply for a mortgage.
Remember that Divorce is the end of one type of a partnership and a fair Divorce includes all assets and they should be divided in the most clear way possible. Doing a thorough inventory will assist you in this process to come to a fair and equitable resolution.
Make sure to take inventory of all assets and any financial documents in your name, your spouse’s name or both. And this includes any assets that your spouse may be hiding. Once a divorce proceeding starts often assets go missing. Make sure the records have a clear and accurate account in the end. Don’t leave it to chance or give someone the chance to keep things hidden. Find those assets today with Asset Search Plus.
For more information on conducting an asset search, please call us at 1(800)290-1012 or visit our site at www.assetsearchesplus.com. You can also download our free eBook on conducting an asset search by clicking http://www.assetsearchesplus.com/download-our-free-ebook/