In community property states, couples fairly divide assets and debt when they divorce. In most cases, this goes well and the divorce can proceed smoothly with both parties getting what they are entitled to. Unfortunately, there are some situations where one spouse will try to hide assets in an attempt to keep their soon-to-be ex from receiving their fair share. If you have reason to believe that your spouse is hiding assets when you're going through a divorce, it is natural to be upset and angry. However, you should stay calm and consult your divorce attorney. A divorce law attorney can help uncover hidden assets in several ways.
In-Depth Review of Your Case
You may suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, but you may not know what those assets are or how they are doing it. However, if you have an experienced divorce attorney, he or she will carefully review your case, as well as all of your financial information, to find clues. Since divorce attorneys specialize in dividing assets, they can recognize issues when reviewing financial information that may prove that one spouse has moved assets in an attempt to hide them during the divorce process.
Utilizing the Discovery Process
During the discovery process in a divorce case, attorneys for both parties are able to request specific information and ask questions. A good divorce attorney will request a variety of financial documents from your spouse's attorney. Having all of this documentation can help pinpoint discrepancies and prove that your spouse has knowingly transferred assets or attempted to hide them from you. Your attorney will also have the opportunity to ask your spouse specific questions during the discovery process, which must be answered truthfully. Since divorce attorneys are very thorough during the discovery process, they can often obtain the information needed to uncover hidden assets.
Consulting with a Forensic Accountant
If you have a complicated divorce and you and your spouse jointly own a lot of assets, your divorce attorney may consult with a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant is a professional who analyzes financial data for court cases. A reputable forensic accountant has the training and skills necessary to carefully review financial records, trace funds, and create reports based on the information available. Many divorce attorneys have relationships with highly qualified forensic accountants since their services are often needed, especially in the case of a divorce between a high net-worth couple.