Trust within your marriage disappeared long ago. So did compatibility. Such a combination often leads to couples inevitably divorcing. And where there is mistrust, there often are secrets hidden under stones or hidden in bank accounts and safe deposit boxes. When mistrust prevails within a marriage, the likelihood of hidden assets by one or both spouses is probable.
Uncovering those hidden assets is a necessary chore, especially during a divorce. It is in your best interest to track down every financial account, investment, property and real estate hidden in the netherworld by your estranged spouse.
Review tax returns, mortgage statements, home safes
As your marriage unfolded, you became more and more suspicious of your spouse, who was “in charge” of the family finances. Often, when you inquired about specific investments, you were met with dismissive comments such as “it is nothing you would be interested in.”
Here are some of the common ways in which people attempt to hide assets:
- Denying that the assets even exist
- Transferring assets to third parties
- Asserting that the assets had been lost
You sense a cover-up. It is time to roll up your sleeves and do some detective work, looking into places throughout your home. This list includes tax returns, safes, safe deposit boxes and financial documents, including those related to a mortgage closure. For the latter, lenders make borrowers tally all assets, liabilities and income sources.
Tax returns during the marriage are a vital source for uncovering hidden assets. Look for discrepancies and reported items that you had no knowledge about. Pay close attention to itemized deductions. These may divulge property tax deductions, potentially pointing to hidden property investments.
In other sections of your tax returns, you may learn about dividends from mutual funds, interest from sold bonds, purchases made by a business, and income from rental properties
This divorce is imminent, but it is critical to assemble as much information as possible on your marital assets, especially the suspected hidden ones. Along the way, you also may find some assets that “disappeared.”