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Finding Hidden Assets During Divorce

No one wants to believe their spouse would willfully hide assets before or during a divorce, but it happens. In a community property state such as Texas, you’ll want to get a full and clear picture of all the marital assets to ensure an equitable settlement. If your spouse was the one who handled the finances during the marriage, you may be especially in the dark about the state of your assets.

Fortunately, there are ways to find hidden assets to make sure that you’re getting everything to which you’re entitled.

If you did not handle the money during the marriage, the first thing you’ll want to do is request copies of all the documents regarding your finances. Bank statements, investment statements, and tax records are examples of what you’re looking for. You’ll be using these to get a picture of the marital estate while determining how to divide property. Your attorney can and should help you with this process, as well as your Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Most spouses will amicably produce these records, but if your husband is trying to hide assets, he may not disclose all of the documentation.

If you believe your spouse isn’t voluntarily producing all of the financial information, the following are commonly methods used to discover hidden assets.

  1. Your attorney can request that your husband produce specific documents. If these documents are not produced, a judge may order your husband to produce them under threat of sanctions. Documents that should be carefully considered include tax returns, savings accounts, money market funds, checking accounts and cancelled checks, credit card statements, insurance statements, and cash flow procedures in business.
  2. Written questions, referred to as “interrogatories” or “requests for admission” can be issued. This involves answers to questions or admissions of fact to be made in writing.
  3. You can have property (such as safe deposit boxes) inspected to look for hidden assets.
  4. You can have your husband questioned in a deposition, a process that involves having your husband appear before a court reporter to answer questions posed by your lawyer. Depositions are especially useful because lying while under oath is considered perjury.

Don’t go it alone when trying to find hidden assets during a divorce in Texas. Make sure you consult with your attorney, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and any other professional they might consider helpful in these situations. With some good detective work performed by professionals who are trained in knowing what to look for, you can find out if your spouse is keeping anything of value from you. This helps ensure that you come out of your divorce with the fairest and most equitable financial settlement possible.

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