You Suspect Your Spouse is Hiding Income or Assets

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If you think your spouse may be attempting to hide income or assets during your divorce proceeding, your first step should be to tell your divorce attorney. Your attorney should know how to handle situations such as this, and the sooner he or she can act, the more likely you are to see results.

You should also quickly gather and secure any documentation that might prove your allegations. Financial documents that you can legally access should be copied and turned over to your attorney. This might include tax returns, pay stubs, credit card statements, bank statements, brokerage statements, contracts, or any other documents which might prove the existence of assets or streams of income.

A financial expert with experience in the divorce arena can be invaluable in searching for hidden income and assets. The expert can help you identify the financial documents that will be needed for analysis, and can assist your attorney in determining which documents to subpoena.

The forensic accountant can be particularly helpful in performing a lifestyle analysis to search for hidden funds. The expert can examine historical bank statements, credit card statements, brokerage statements, and other financial documents to map out the flow of funds during the marriage and after the separation. The analysis may include comparing deposits and expenditures to known sources of funds. If the deposits or expenditures vary significantly from the known sources of income and assets, this may suggest hidden income or assets.

The lifestyle analysis is a relatively simple concept, but the execution can be complex. There can be thousands of transactions that need to be analyzed and classified. There may be missing data for which estimates may need to be made. The expert needs to consider a variety of sources of funds beyond the common, known sources of income. There may be additional complexities if one or both of the spouses owns business interests and receives income and perks accordingly.

It is important to have the lifestyle analysis done by a qualified professional who has experience with divorce cases. Seek out financial professionals with widely accepted credentials that are closely related to divorce financial analysis.

One thought on “You Suspect Your Spouse is Hiding Income or Assets

  1. Optimism Bias and how the stereotype of the “little old lady” as scam victim is wrong, and millennials are actually more vulnerable to scams than baby boomers. Optimism bias – the idea that we all think other people are more vulnerable than we are – is associated with risk-taking and failure to heed precautionary advice. I fell prey to this, not once but twice by a Dr husband and again to a Police Officer boyfriend. I am an educated person and seriously thought I was above getting scammed. There are professions we naturally trust, Doctors, Police Officers, Teachers etc. but we must change that thought process. My husband almost got away with hiding our life savings, selling our animal hospital and running off with all of the money. I hired a forensic accountant to find the hidden money. A police officer borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars, my life savings with the promise he would pay me back… he filed bankruptcy and poof my money was gone. I’d be happy to talk about the warning signs I ignored because I thought no way could this happen to me… I’m too smart – wrong!

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