In cases of divorce, a spouse may attempt to hide assets in order to avoid losing the property in the divorce proceedings. A professional asset search service can uncover any and all concealed assets in order to ensure that all possible property is subject to division during divorce proceedings. When it comes to most divorce proceedings, paperwork is a significant part of the process. Asset searches are a large component of any divorce case because they involve determining what assets belong to each party and how those assets will be divided up between both parties.

The financial affidavit

In divorce proceedings, both spouses submit a financial affidavit. These statements detail all sources of income and expenses on paper. However, they may not be an accurate representation of the situation, because they are self-reported. Some people enlist the aid of private investigators when they suspect that a spouse is lying about finances in an attempt to gain alimony or to keep their true wealth concealed.

For instance, an inheritance that one spouse received before marriage could be considered personal property and therefore not eligible for division during divorce proceedings. However, if the inheritance was used as a community asset (such as purchasing a home) after the spouses married, it may be eligible for division.

Asset search and discovery

A thorough 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. If a divorce case involves hidden assets, the importance of a thorough asset search increases significantly. If you know your spouse is hiding assets from their financial statement, it’s in your best interest to hire an asset search firm. Not only can they potentially save you thousands of dollars in legal fees and years of litigation, they can also help ensure that your divorce proceedings remain fair and equitable.

During the asset search investigation, it is not uncommon for an investigator to uncover 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 divided between both parties during a divorce case.

An investigator may review a person’s tax returns, bank statements, and W-2 forms in order to corroborate the information given. For example, if a person claims to earn $2,000 per month but no other financial documents support this claim, the investigator will request proof of employment from the employer such as pay stubs and tax documents.

Private investigators specializing in asset searches conduct in-depth 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, who can then present their findings as valid expert witness testimony before the court.

If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets in connection with a divorce, consult with your attorney immediately and begin working with a private investigator, who can conduct an asset search. 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 connection with the settlement of your divorce or that any fees incurred by your private investigator will be awarded to you in the case.