There are steps that people can take to uncover hidden assets during their divorce, to ensure they receive what they are entitled to.
For many divorcing couples in San Antonio, and throughout Texas, dividing up their property and assets can be the most quarrelsome aspect of their settlement. It is common for one spouse to feel that he or she deserves more, or is entitled to certain assets. As such, some people may hide certain assets from their soon-to-be former spouses.
According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, three out of every 10 adults questioned in one survey admitted to hiding cash, bank accounts, statements or bills from their partners. When assets are hidden or unreported, they are not included in the property division process. This may result in one partner coming out of a divorce with more than his or her fair share. In order to ensure that all of their marital property is accounted for during their divorce, there are steps that people can take in order to uncover hidden assets.
One of the first, and easiest, places for people to look for hidden assets is in their tax returns. Since people must disclose earnings, account interests and dividends, this information is often found on tax return and 1099 documentation. The Huffington Post reports that people may also uncover secretly held real estate investments or homes on tax returns. Conducting a public records search may also turn up valuable information about hidden properties and investments.
Another place where people commonly turn up concealed assets during a divorce is in their financial statements. In reviewing bank account and credit card records, people may identify questionable withdrawals or deposits into undisclosed accounts. This could be evidence of hidden funds.
In some cases, people may attempt to hide assets by purchasing items that could be undervalued or easily overlooked, Forbes reports. This could include something as simple as stamps or coins to add to an existing collection, or even an antique carpet for the office. Examining their financial statements may help people to spot significant purchases, and to have a clearer picture of the value of such items.
Beyond a regular paycheck, employers may compensate people with bonuses, benefits, stock options, deferred compensation plans and retirement plans. Therefore, it can be helpful for people to examine their spouses’ employment records when hunting for hidden assets. Going through pay stubs may show undisclosed compensation. Since many people use direct deposit, it may also be possible to identify hidden bank accounts when reviewing pay stubs.
It may seem obvious, but reviewing their family expenses may also help people to uncover hidden assets. Do the monthly household expenditures exceed the family’s monthly income? If so, it could point to undisclosed earnings or income. Furthermore, people may identify hidden bank accounts when checking the receipts for bills, such as credit card payments, car payments, mortgages and utilities.
Seek legal counsel
The divorce process is often difficult for all who are involved. The process can be even more upsetting when one spouse attempts to take advantage of the situation and hide assets. In order to ensure they receive all that they are entitled to, those considering divorce in the state of Texas may benefit from consulting with a legal professional. An attorney may work with them to understand their options, as well as to uncover assets that have not been disclosed to the court.
Keywords: divorce, family law, assets, property, division