Making a list of each spouse’s assets is the first step in discovering hidden assets during a divorce. You should keep records of your tax returns and financial transactions before doing lifestyle and business cash flow analyses. During your divorce, you can use “discovery” tools to uncover any concealed assets, income, or bank accounts with the help of Karp & Iancu, S.C.
A spouse is more likely to conceal assets in the following situations:
- when one partner handled the funds.
- when a divorce has been anticipated for some time.
- when the marital estate contains a sizable number of assets.
So that equitable property distribution can take place, spouses are required to disclose financial information about any assets, income, and costs at the outset of the divorce.
The Costs of Hiding Assets
There will be legal repercussions if a spouse tries to conceal an asset, and it is later discovered. The full disclosure of all assets is required by Wisconsin state law. If a party fails to do this, they may be required to pay the opposing party’s legal costs or transfer a sizeable piece of the undisclosed asset to them.
How to Find Hidden Assets?
Researching on your own is the first step in looking for hidden assets. Later, if necessary, you can also seek professional assistance.
- Take a copy of your tax returns.
Tax returns over the previous two to five years may disclose sources of income you were unaware of. Return inconsistencies should also be noted for closer examination.
- Review your credit card and bank account statements thoroughly.
Search for transactions you were unaware of and follow the money to see where it went. A spouse attempting to conceal assets may deposit funds into a new personal account or “gift” funds to friends or family members. In many cases, subpoenas can be used to get bank records.
- Verify the Public Records
Public information that can be useful can frequently be found in your local county court records, such as judgments, bankruptcy claims, tax assessments, or business data. The county courthouse or city hall typically has actual records if the information is not online.
- Think about working with a forensic accountant.
Forensic accountants compile financial data to look into assets and income in greater detail. Although not required, they offer the knowledge required to locate well-hidden assets.
What Can a Divorce Lawyer Do to Help?
The majority of things an attorney can do, but an attorney is an expert, can be done by a person representing themselves. An experienced family law attorney can assist you in searching for and obtaining evidence of any concealed assets.