It is no longer necessary to comb through musty ledgers or stacks of bank statements to glean information about assets your spouse may be hiding. For example, with modern technology, it only takes seconds to locate anomalies in financial records. If you suspect that the person you are soon to divorce is keeping secrets about money, property or other holdings, your divorce attorney can help, but there are also steps you can take both to locate possible hiding spots and to ensure the proper inventory and valuation of other marital assets.
Engage in smartphone tracking
You can use phone tracking software to pinpoint the location of your spouse. You might find out how often he or she stops by an ATM in an odd part of town or spends time in a strange neighborhood. Smartphones also store information that is routinely used in divorce proceedings these days, such as telling email and text messages and details about bank or brokerage accounts.
Check property records
People going through divorce are often shocked to discover that their spouse owns property or even a business they never knew about. If you have suspicions along these lines, you can begin your research on websites that display property records, but you can also turn to your attorney to help investigate.
Be aware of financial juggling
Clever spouses may make arrangements with an employer to delay receipt of a stock option, bonus or pay raise until after the finalization of the divorce so that they don’t have to include these funds when the time comes to divide marital assets. To find out whether this is happening, you may want to request the deposition of the people in charge of such decisions.
Document your assets
Do not allow your spouse to undervalue your marital assets. Begin putting together financial records along with accurate valuations made by professionals. You may want to engage a forensic accountant who can assess values for everything from real property to investments.
Rely on professional help
You should not feel that you have to follow the long and winding trail of hidden assets alone. An attorney experienced with divorce matters can answer your questions, find solutions to the problems you face and be of great comfort and support to you at a troubling time.