In the realm of divorce cases, the concealment of assets has become an increasingly common challenge. As a licensed private investigative agency, we’ve observed a surge in requests related to asset searching within divorce proceedings. In this blog post, we’ll explore the tactics individuals employ to hide assets and discuss effective methods for discovering these concealed financial holdings.

Header: The Rise of Asset Searching in Divorce Cases

Traditionally, asset searches were associated with judgments, lawsuits, or insurance claims. However, over the past 24 to 30 months, divorces have taken center stage as the most prevalent cases requiring asset searching. Suspicion often arises when one party suspects the other of concealing assets, leading to a surge in demand for investigative services in family law.

Understanding Asset Classes: A Key to Discovery

There are various classes of assets, and each demands a unique approach to searching. While there are 14 different asset classes, the most common ones include bank accounts, real estate, and corporate assets. Parties attempting to hide assets often resort to intricate strategies, such as placing assets in another person’s name or utilizing specific legal entities to avoid detection.

Methods of Asset Concealment and How to Uncover Them

1. False Titling and Ownership Concealment:

  • Individuals may transfer real estate or claim ownership in another person’s name.
  • Bank accounts might be opened in the name of a close associate to avoid detection.

2. Income Underreporting and Collusion:

  • Business owners may collude with employers to temporarily lower reported income during divorce proceedings.
  • Underreporting the value of business ownership or assets is a common tactic.

3. Certified Check Rotation Scheme:

  • Some employ a scheme involving cashier’s checks to rotate funds discreetly, creating an intricate money-shuffling strategy.

4. Digital Assets and Cryptocurrency:

  • The rise of digital assets introduces new challenges, but forensic searches can reveal hidden cryptocurrencies or NFTs.

The Art of Asset Forensics: Going Beyond Simple Searches

Simply conducting an asset search is not enough; comprehensive asset forensics is required. Parties attempting to conceal assets often create a complex web of financial activities, hoping to muddy the trail. Asset forensics involves tracing the flow of funds, unveiling hidden transactions, and deciphering the breadcrumbs left behind in the shifting of assets.

Why Do Individuals Attempt to Hide Assets in Divorce?

The motivations behind hiding assets in divorce cases are multifaceted. Parties often believe they won’t get caught, either due to misinformation from their attorneys or a misguided sense of their concealment methods’ effectiveness. With the increasing value of family estates, the temptation to hide substantial sums has grown.

The Role of Private Investigators: Demystifying the Process

Contrary to popular belief, private investigators do not possess magical powers to unearth hidden assets. Instead, the effectiveness of asset searches lies in meticulous research, document analysis, and cross-referencing. While it may be tempting to opt for quick online searches, true asset discovery demands a deeper dive into various records, both digital and paper.

Empowering Yourself: Steps to Search Assets Effectively

If you find yourself on the brink of a divorce and suspect asset concealment, taking the following steps can be crucial:

  1. Begin with Real Estate and Bank Accounts:
    • Initiate searches in the county recorder’s office for real estate records.
    • Explore all three available sources for banking records: swift code system, check verification system, and account vetting system.
  2. Document Financial Disclosures:
    • Despite potential misrepresentations, ensure both parties complete and disclose financial affidavits.
    • Keep a documented record of the disclosed assets, as this will serve as a baseline for your search.
  3. Conduct Thorough Asset Searches:
    • Don’t limit searches to conventional online reports; delve into forensic asset searches for a comprehensive investigation.
    • Read through deeds, mortgages, settlement statements, and other relevant documents to unveil indirect connections.
  4. Be Aware of Digital Assets:
    • Cryptocurrencies and NFTs may seem elusive, but forensic searches can reveal their existence and transactions.

Claim What’s Rightfully Yours

In the pursuit of a fair resolution in a divorce case, it’s essential to uncover any attempts to hide assets. By understanding the methods employed for concealment and conducting meticulous asset searches, individuals can empower themselves to secure what is rightfully theirs. Remember, asset searching is an intricate process that demands time, effort, and a keen eye for detail, but the results can be invaluable in ensuring a just outcome in divorce proceedings.