Unfortunately, many people learn during a divorce that their spouse wasn’t the person they thought they were. This revelation doesn’t necessarily mean the other person was cheating or living a double life, but they might be hiding assets. Hiding assets during the divorce process is one way, although an illegal and consequential way, to attempt to gain more property than one is entitled to receive in the divorce settlement.
If you are concerned that your spouse might be taking such actions, it’s crucial that you discuss your suspicions with your Maryland divorce attorney. If you haven’t already hired one, doing so is the first step to help you find out if your spouse is hiding assets. Your attorney can assist you with the rest of the steps and help you expose them if they are. There are several more steps, as outlined below, that you can take to help determine if your soon-to-be ex is hiding assets from you.
Utilize the Legal Process of Discovery
Your lawyer can have your spouse served with discovery requests to produce important financial documents, including account statements for all financial, retirement, investment, business, and any other property in which they have an interest. If they refuse to turn over these financial records, your lawyer can serve subpoenas to obtain them.
Follow the Money Trail
Take the time to follow all money trails. For example, if your spouse withdrew cash, find out where they spent it and follow up on that transaction with the vendor. In addition, some spouses will find significant benefits in hiring a forensic accountant who can review all accounts and transactions, ensuring they are aware of all the assets involved in their divorce.
Obtain Business Financials
Suppose your spouse has an interest in a business. In that case, you will need to obtain copies of all business financials. It’s a good idea to hire an expert who can perform a full business audit and valuation. Doing so will help determine your spouse’s share in the business so that it can be included in the division of marital assets in the divorce process.
Review Financial Statements
It might seem simple, but it’s imperative to carefully and thoroughly review your spouse’s financial statements. It’s common for spouses to exaggerate their debts or acquire new obligations to dimmish their assets. Be sure to obtain and go over the following:
- Income tax returns
- Bank account statements
- Loan applications
- Credit card statements
- Business records
- Public records
Enlist Help From a Private Investigator
It might be worth it for some spouses to hire a private investigator to determine if and what assets are being hidden. Skilled investigators know how to dig into your spouse’s habits and secure the information you need to find assets.
Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets? Contact an Experienced Maryland Divorce Attorney Today
No matter what issues you face during your divorce, it’s always a good idea to have a seasoned Maryland divorce lawyer on your side, especially if you suspect that your soon-to-be ex might be hiding assets.
Family court judges often provide the non-asset hiding spouse a financial award that includes money dissipated or hidden. Finding hidden assets can be a complex process, requiring the help of several professionals. However, ensuring you get the money to which you are entitled is paramount.