Divorce is never easy—especially if one party has deliberately hidden assets. In many cases, a spouse may hide assets in order to avoid losing them in the divorce proceedings. A professional asset search service can uncover any and all concealed assets so that they are eligible in the divorce proceedings.
Most people know that divorce involves a lot of paperwork. However, what many people don’t realize is that the paperwork involved goes beyond just the divorce documents themselves. Asset searches are also part of the process since they involve determining what assets belong to each party and how those assets will be divided up between both parties.
For example, if one spouse had an inheritance before getting married, then this inheritance would most likely be considered their personal property and not eligible for division during the divorce proceedings. That said, there are some cases where inheritances can become community property if they were used together after marriage (such as using it to buy a house).
Divorce proceedings require each spouse to file financial statements. These statements detail all sources of income and expenses on paper. However, such statements may be incomplete and inaccurate, because they are self-reported. As a result, many people enlist the aid of private investigators when they suspect that a spouse is lying about their finances in an attempt to gain alimony, child support money, or to conceal their true wealth.
What is an asset search?
An asset search is a report on an individual or business’s assets, such as bank accounts, vehicles, personal property, businesses, life insurance policies, and trademarks.
All divorce cases should be accompanied by a thorough asset search. If you know your spouse is hiding assets from their financial statement, the importance of an asset search becomes even greater. Conducting an asset search ensures that all eligible assets are on the table. Even if you have no reason to believe your spouse is failing to report assets, it’s still a good idea to consider hiring an asset search firm. Not only can they potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run, but they can also help ensure that your divorce proceedings remain fair and equitable.
Why hire a private investigator to conduct an asset search for divorce?
Private investigators who specialize in asset searches perform painstaking research on large monetary transfers and analyze the results of their findings to provide accurate and reliable information to lawyers and law firms. Their expertise is often sought out by attorneys, as they are able to provide the court with valid expert witness testimony.
During a divorce investigation, it is not uncommon for an investigator to uncover business or other personal assets that one spouse has intentionally concealed from the other. These include life insurance policies, inheritance properties, and retirement plans. All of these are considered marital property and must be split between both parties during a divorce case.
An investigator may examine a person’s tax returns, bank statements, and W-2 forms to find inconsistencies. For example, if one person claims they earn $2,000 per month as an accountant but no other financial documents support this claim, the investigator will ask for proof of employment from the employer such as pay stubs and tax documents.
If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets during a divorce, consult with your attorney immediately and begin working with a private investigator, who will be able to help you detect and document those assets. As soon as possible, begin the process of discovering hidden assets. The earlier you discover hidden assets, the more likely it is that those assets will be considered in the settlement of your divorce or that any fees incurred by your private investigator will be awarded to you in the case. Divorce can be difficult, but knowing how to find hidden assets may make the process a little easier.