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Hiding assets: Is it a way to get more out of divorce?

You may have had a realization that there is an asset your spouse doesn’t know about or that you have the ability to hide income they weren’t aware of, but should you? If you’re going through a divorce, the simple answer is no. You should not hide assets from your spouse or the court, because doing so could end up resulting in you losing those assets and facing trouble for breaking the law.

It’s more important that you understand that hiding assets isn’t legal and that anyone who hides assets may be held accountable in family court. Even if assets are hidden, there are ways to find them. Remember, the court does ask you to disclose all of your assets, and failing to do so intentionally will lead to trouble.

How are hidden assets located? Where are they usually found?

You may find it interesting, but the first place most forensic accountants or attorneys will look to identify missing or hidden assets is a tax return. Yes, even though someone may hide an asset physically, it’s less likely that they won’t report it on their taxes. For example, your spouse might try to hide extra income, but it’s likely still reported on the tax return.

Another place to look is your checking account. A forensic accountant will search through the account for unusual deposits or withdrawals, so that those can be looked into further. Similarly, you may get mail about an account that you don’t recognize. Keep that document, because a forensic accountant may be able to link it to your spouse.

Finally, you can check with the court to see if your spouse has taken out loans. If so, that application may include assets that the person owns (some of which you may not know about).

Don’t hide assets, but remember to look for them

The simple rule for your divorce is not to hide assets, because it’s likely that they will be found. If you think your spouse is hiding assets, the above-mentioned methods can help you find them, so that you can ask for your fair share of any shared marital assets upon divorce.