5 Proven Strategies for Uncovering Hidden Assets in a High-Asset Divorce
If you are going through a high-asset divorce, you may have suspicions that your spouse is hiding assets. The discovery of hidden assets can be a difficult and time-consuming process, but there are several strategies you can use to uncover them. Knowing what these strategies are can help you find the information you need in order to protect your finances and your rights during the divorce proceedings.
Let our Pittsburgh high-asset divorce lawyers at Bunde & Roberts, P.C., help you gather the evidence you need to prove that your spouse is hiding assets in your divorce. We are familiar with dozens of different strategies for uncovering hidden assets in high-asset divorces and are ready to help you.
Strategies for Finding Hidden Assets in a High-Asset Divorce
Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution jurisdiction for allocating marital property in a divorce (Pa. C.S.A. Title 23 § 3502). That means that your marital assets will be allocated in an equitable (fair) manner when you decide to end your marriage. However, an intentionally hidden asset will not get included in the marital estate for equitable distribution, unless it is discovered by you.
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, consider using these strategies for uncovering hidden assets.
1. Monitor Spending
One of the most effective ways to uncover hidden assets is to monitor your spouse’s spending habits closely. Look for any large or recurring purchases that don’t fit with their normal pattern of spending—this could be an indication of hidden funds. Also, pay attention to where they are spending their money—are they making frequent trips out of town or taking expensive vacations? These types of activities could point to larger sums of money being spent on items such as luxury cars or other high-value investments.
2. Review Bank Accounts and Credit Reports
Take a close look at all of your joint bank accounts and credit reports for any suspicious activity, such as transfers between accounts or unusual deposits into various accounts. Also, look for any new lines of credit opened in your partner’s name since filing for divorce—these could be used to hide assets by transferring funds out of one account into another. Additionally, it’s wise to check your partner’s credit report as well. This will show any new debts taken on after filing for divorce which could also point toward hidden assets being transferred elsewhere.
3. Check Public Records
Another way to uncover hidden assets is by looking at public records such as public property records. This is especially important if one partner owns their own business or has international investments. These types of holdings may not appear on typical financial statements but can still contain large amounts of value which need to be accounted for during the divorce proceedings.
4. Review Tax Returns
It’s important to review your partners’ tax returns from recent years. This will provide valuable insight into income levels and expenses incurred over the past few years which can help determine if there have been any large sums moved around without disclosure during the divorce proceedings. In particular, pay close attention to income and dividend activity and the sale of investment assets.
5. Get Help from a Lawyer
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, it is important that you speak with a lawyer who focuses his or her practice on family law and high-asset divorces before taking any further steps yourself; he or she can provide invaluable advice on how best to proceed in order to ensure that all financial matters are settled fairly during the divorce proceedings. A good lawyer will also be able to take steps such as issuing subpoenas if needed in order to force disclosure from third parties who may have been involved in helping hide certain assets from view during the divorce process.
Discuss Your Options with a Divorce Lawyer
Uncovering hidden assets during a high-asset divorce can seem like an overwhelming task, but with proper preparation, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets in your high-asset divorce, our lawyers at Bunde & Roberts, P.C., can help you understand your options for uncovering hidden assets. Call 412-391-4330 to get a case review.