7 Ways to Uncover Hidden Assets During a Divorce

According to Cathy Meyer in the Dating and Relationships section of About .com, Some people have secret accounts and other financial activities during the entire length of a marriage. If you are heading for divorce, here are seven ways to find hidden assets.


  1. Tax returns Go back at least five years to look for any inconsistencies in income, the presence of trusts, partnerships or real estate holdings.
  2. Look at checking account statements and cancelled checks. A cancelled check for a purchase you never knew about, such as an investment property, can make a substantial difference in total assets to be divided. Cancelled checks from unknown accounts are even more revealing.
  3. Savings accounts may reveal unusual deposits or withdrawals.

Deposits and withdrawals could point to a hidden asset such as a dividend-producing investment. If you notice any unusual withdrawals or deposits, take notice.

  1. Check courthouse files. If a spouse borrowed money from a bank or mortgage company, the loan application will be on file at the courthouse. A loan application would show a list of assets the person owns and the estimated value. It is a federal crime to lie on a loan application, so you will be able to get an honest idea of the person’s true assets and their value.
  2. 5. Check the tax assessor’s office. If money has been used for buying real estate property, the tax assessor will have all information on record. Any land or homes the person owns will be listed with an address and the assessed taxable value of the property.
  3. A boss may help hide assets. Your spouse’s boss may agree to wait to give an earned bonus until after the divorce is final. This can also happen with stock options, retirement benefits or pay raises. If that happens, that money would not be considered during the settlement agreement, which means an incomplete assessment of assets.
  4. A third party may help. Sometimes, friends help hide assets. This would be more probable if there is another man or woman in the picture. Assets may have been used to pay for gifts, vacations, rent and other entertainment, or assets could be saved in an account under the other person’s name.

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