In order to fairly divide assets in a divorce, the spouses involved need to disclose their assets. However, some people try to conceal assets so they can hold on to them and keep their spouses from acquiring a share. The problem of hidden assets is something that can deprive spouses unfairly of their share of property, which is why learning how to discover hidden assets is important.
Forbes explains that when people hide their assets, they tend to use one of four different methods. Some spouses lie about their assets. They say that the asset does not actually exist. If confronted with evidence that the asset does exist, the spouse may claim that the asset was recently lost. Sometimes spouses try to get rid of assets by transferring ownership to a third party. As a fourth option, a spouse may create false debt.
Spouses that want to hide assets can usually make it difficult to discover them. But despite the challenges involved, there are ways to locate hidden assets. Tax returns contain a lot of financial information. While not everyone can easily comprehend a tax return, enlisting the help of an attorney may help uncover reported items that a spouse did not disclose. Returns may also reveal discrepancies that could point to concealed assets.
A tax return is not the only place to look for hidden assets. Mortgage closing documents are another potential source of information that might lead you to concealed assets. Financial lenders require people who buy a home to list financial information when they apply for a mortgage. Such information includes income sources, liabilities and assets. A spouse may have listed certain assets on these documents that he or she is now trying to hide.
Also keep in mind potential locations where your spouse may store assets or documents. Couples may locate sensitive financial documents inside safe deposit boxes at a local bank or inside a safe or any particular hiding spot in the home that the spouses know about. A spouse who is hiding assets might store information about them in these places.