If you find yourself going through a divorce or are contemplating a divorce, you are likely aware that in a community property state you are entitled to half of the wealth that has accumulated during your marriage. Of course, your spouse is also aware of this, and this is why it is common for assets to be hidden prior to a divorce. Finding these assets can be difficult. You need to know where to look, and how to detect these assets. The following are a few examples of hidden assets and how we can help to locate them.
It is a simple for a spouse to open a checking or savings account without their wife or husband knowing about it. In fact, these accounts are seldom hidden except from the spouse. The thinking is that as long as there is no evidence of the account, the spouse that is being kept in the dark will never know. The mailing address for the account could be at another location, and other contact information such as a phone number or email could be directed outside of the home. Although this type of account may seem secret to the account holder, it is easily discovered by a private investigator. If there are bank accounts you are not aware of, we can find them through access to databases and records that are not available to the average person.
Stocks and Bonds
This is a common way to hide assets. Many believe that their complete portfolio of stocks and bonds is something a spouse will not be able to identify. However, with your assistance, we can find much of the stocks and bonds owned by your spouse. This includes retirement accounts and brokerage accounts. It is common to see a spouse hide some of their wealth in one or more retirement accounts. The thinking is that money in a retirement account is well hidden, and in the event that it is found, because it is a retirement account it cannot be touched. We can find this type of hidden asset, and then you can consult with an attorney on how to proceed to receive your fair share.
Offshore accounts and the corporate veil
Many falsely believe that if they can get their money out of the country, it will be safe from a divorce attorney. The chances of the accounts being found are slim. Once again, this is simply not true. Accounts can be identified as belonging to your spouse, and this information can be given to your attorney. The same is true with any money or assets that are being funneled through a corporation. Often real estate holdings or expensive vehicles are transferred into a company’s name. Once this transfer can be documented, it often becomes apparent that it was only done to hide the asset from a spouse prior to a divorce.
Most of the situations above involving hidden assets are usually initiated by the spouse that has a business or is in charge of the finances. If you are the spouse that is not as involved in the finances, then you need to contact us for a consultation. We can discuss your particular situation, including the possibility of performing a divorce investigation, and explain how information you provide us can help us to find various types of hidden assets.