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How to look for hidden assets during divorce

| Feb 4, 2021 | Blog, Divorce |

One problem that may arise for people who are going through a divorce in Texas is that one spouse might try to hide assets from the other. A person can do this in many different ways, so the best way to locate the assets may be to look at financial paperwork to see whether there are signs of assets that are unaccounted for.

Taxes and accounts

For example, tax returns may indicate income that the person has not revealed during the discovery process of the divorce. Other places to look are checking and savings accounts. Unexplained deposits could show investment income or other assets.

Public records

Public records could reveal more information about a spouse’s assets. For example, a person could check the tax assessor’s office to find out whether the spouse owns any real estate. The courthouse may have information on mortgages taken out.

Other places

People can hide assets in many other places. People may have secret safe deposit boxes or could simply give cash or valuables to a friend or relative to hold. Some might ask their employer to hold off on giving them raises or bonuses. A person could transfer stocks or other assets into the name of another person. People may go to elaborate lengths to hide assets, such as creating shell companies. It may take the skills of a forensic accountant or another professional to find all hidden assets.

Identifying all assets is important because in Texas, a community property state, a judge is supposed to divide shared assets equally. If one person thinks their spouse is hiding assets, this will probably also affect the divorce process. Negotiating a divorce agreement outside of court requires a certain level of trust. Couples may end up having to go to litigation instead where a judge will determine asset division.