Are you worried that your cheating spouse is also cheating you out of marital property you rightfully have a claim to? Or that your spouse is attempting to hide assets to get revenge or to avoid a high payment of child support and alimony?
Whatever the reason, hiding assets is common in divorce, so you need to know what to do if you find it happening to you. The one thing not to do is respond by also withholding property. Doing so can get you into major legal trouble, so follow these tips instead.
Gather financial records
You need a starting point to prove assets are missing. Gather all your financial records to account for the marital property you have. If you cannot find the documents, request them straight from the institution holding the property, such as a bank. If you go paperless, print statements from online accounts.
Review them to make sure they are accurate and complete. If you use professional help with finances, such as an accountant or stockbroker, consult this person as well to ensure things are in order.
Look for suspicious activity
The next step is to watch for signs that your spouse is hiding property. Look for an increase in cash transactions, large debt repayments, business problems and transfers to family and friends. Note if bank statements that used to come in the mail have suddenly stopped. Look at receipts, unfamiliar mail and other paper trails for evidence of movement.
In addition to financial activity, pay attention to your interactions. Does your spouse try to keep you from accessing records, lie to you about income or ask you to sign unknown documents?
Consider secret assets
Not all assets your spouse hides will be ones you know about. He or she may have secret accounts and belongings. Some you may discover through the previous steps. Others you may be able to search for in public records by using your spouse’s previous names and aliases. If you suspect your spouse may be hiding assets during a divorce, contact Chattanooga family law attorney Robert Sauser to guide you through the process.