One of the chief goals of the divorce process is for spouses to divide their assets in a fair manner so that each can move on with the financial resources they need. That requires both people to be fully transparent. But what if you suspect that your soon-to-be-ex is hiding money (and, in fact, entire accounts) so that they don’t have to share with you?
First, let’s look at what you’re both required to do. Both spouses in a divorce are required to fully disclose all their assets. This includes accounts, real estate, businesses, cars, boats and any property of value.
Do some research on your own
What if you believe that your spouse has more than they’re disclosing? Sometimes, people will open an account without telling their spouse and gradually move money into it from their other accounts. You can search the accounts you know about and have access to for large and/or regular withdrawals or even transfers (if your spouse isn’t very good at covering their tracks) that you can’t explain.
Consider a deposition
If you believe your spouse is hiding accounts or other assets or isn’t being honest about other financial matters, your attorney can seek to have them deposed and ask them questions about these things. A deposition, whether it’s written or verbal, is a sworn statement. Typically, people think twice about lying in depositions because of the legal consequences.
Bring in a forensic accountant
Another alternative (which may choose to use before, after or instead of a deposition) is to bring in a forensic accountant. They know how and where to look for hidden assets.
If you believe there’s a significant amount of money being kept from you, it may be worth the expense to include a forensic account on your team. Your family law attorney can advise you on the best course of action if you believe your spouse isn’t being honest and transparent about their finances.