Trust can be one of the first things to leave a broken marriage. This can be especially true in cases involving infidelity — financial, emotional or otherwise. If trust is lacking in your case, then one concern you may have is the attempt to hide assets.
Parties may try to hide assets to shield them from division, despite such acts being unlawful and ultimately unwise. Below are a few places you can start looking if you are concerned about hidden assets.
Tax season is just around the corner, which means people will be gathering necessary documents and filing their returns. As such, it can be a good opportunity to do some research.
As this article notes, tax returns can include a host of information you may not otherwise have access to. You can look at W-2s, which shows earnings and withholdings, as well as all schedules and attachments. Other documents could reveal secret accounts, evidence of overpaying taxes, or unusual spending or distribution patterns.
Take a look around your home and other properties you might have. Think about offices, cars, storage units, rental properties and vacation homes. Is there anything missing? Take stock of artwork and jewelry; look at your bank accounts for any odd or unusual withdrawals; pay attention to any new property your spouse might have purchased recently to determine if it could be something easy to undervalue.
Much of the information about our finances comes in the mail: either in our actual mailbox or through e-mail. As such, keep an eye out for these documents as they come in. Pay attention to mailings from new or unusual banking institutions, and try to open any correspondence regarding marital accounts before your spouse does. You can also collect older documents to use for comparison.
These are just a few of the basic places you can look for more information on your financial status and assets. Though, they can reveal invaluable details that your soon-to-be ex may be trying to hide from you during the division of property.
Should you discover suspect information or wish to do a more exhaustive investigation into your marital property, it can be wise to consult an attorney as well as a financial professional.