Getting a divorce can make any person scared, stressed and uneasy about the future. Some people deal with this by talking to a counselor or treating themselves to a short vacation; others opt for less legitimate solutions.
For instance, if you are getting divorced, you could learn that your ex is dealing with his fears and anxiety about his future financial stability by hiding assets and neglecting to include them in the financial affidavit. This is a very unwise decision that typically backfires, but it is something that people do, especially when the financial stakes of the divorce are quite high.
If you are worried your ex might be trying to shield assets from distribution in your divorce, there are ways you can protect yourself and ensure you are getting everything you deserve. One solution is to track down and uncover any potentially hidden assets. But do you know where to look?
Where to look for hidden assets
Below are some of the more common places and ways people try to hide money in a divorce.
- Diverting it to separate bank accounts
- Giving money or property to family or friends to hold on to until after the divorce
- Converting it to digital money, like bitcoin
- Falsely undervaluing business earnings
- Transferring money to offshore accounts
- Spending huge amounts of money on items that are difficult to track and easy to keep physically hidden
- Turning down or delaying bonus pay at work
- "Forgetting" to include profits from investments and retirement accounts
Knowing where to look can make it easier for you to target your search efforts. Keep an eye out for bank statements; scrutinize credit card and other bills; review past tax returns looking for clues like those examined in this Forbes article.
Proceed with caution - and help
It is critical to remember, however, that you can wind up getting in some trouble yourself if you resort to illegal means of trying to find hidden assets, so it is crucial that you proceed with caution as your search. Rather than taking on this detective work yourself, you might want to consider having a forensic accountant and/or your divorce attorney complete an investigation.