Where should you look for possible hidden assets?
You and your spouse built your wealth together. Now that you filed for divorce, however, you may disagree on what you each deserve from the assets you accumulated. While most leave it to the court to determine property division if they cannot reach an agreement on their own, others take steps to conceal assets from the process and keep them for themselves.
Knowing where to look for possible hidden assets may help you ensure an equitable division of the property you and your spouse amassed and shared during your marriage.
According to Forbes.com, you should check for hidden assets in hiding places or other safe places you and your spouse used during your marriage. For example, this may include spaces in your home, safes or safe deposit boxes. Sometimes people will put away money, collections or other items of value in such places and may forget or choose not to disclose them during a divorce.
Previous tax returns
Your previous tax returns have a wealth of information about possible hidden assets. Your soon-to-be ex-spouse may have reported sources of income on his or her taxes that did not get disclosed in your divorce proceedings. Additionally, you may find details about undisclosed assets or notice the disappearance of assets through sections such as schedule B and schedule D – the interest and dividends and capital gains and losses sections, respectively.
To get lending, such as for a car or home loan, you must generally provide information about your sources of income, assets and liabilities. Therefore, you may learn that your spouse hid assets or discover where he or she hid them by reviewing your home mortgage or other financial documentation.
The possible penalties associated with concealing assets during a divorce do not dissuade everyone from trying to keep shared property from their former spouses. Taking inventory of your assets and looking for any potential undisclosed property before your divorce may help you get what you deserve.