Identifying Hidden Assets During Divorce
When a couple decides to divorce in Florida, both will be required to provide full financial disclosures to the other. These disclosures help ensure that both parties are aware of the entirety of the other’s assets and debts, which in turn, helps ensure that any eventual property settlement is fair. Unfortunately, not all spouses make full disclosures and may even attempt to hide assets in an effort to avoid sharing them upon divorce. Without an accurate accounting of marital assets and liabilities, it’s nearly impossible to reach a fair property settlement, meaning that one spouse could end up with far less than what he or she is actually entitled to. To help avoid this, divorcing parties who suspect that a spouse is hiding assets should be sure to reach out to an experienced attorney for help identifying those transactions.
One place that spouses can look when attempting to uncover hidden assets during divorce is the other party’s bank accounts. Statements from these accounts can provide information about transfers made both during the marriage and after the divorce filing, which could indicate unreported sources of income or suspicious transactions. It’s important to remain vigilant for signs of large deposits or withdrawals, especially if those kinds of transactions are inconsistent with the normal use of the account. This type of activity could help establish that funds are being transferred to or from an unreported account.
Tax returns are another place that divorcing spouses can look for hidden assets. These records can provide a picture of a person’s income and general financial situation over the last several years. Tax returns also contain details about real estate holdings and other investments that the other spouse attempted to keep hidden. These records can also be used to find discrepancies between expenses on bank accounts and those listed on the return. These kinds of inconsistencies could indicate that a spouse is using cash to pay for unreported expenses or that funds are being deposited into hidden accounts. Even the deductions and credits that a person tries to claim on a tax return can be used to help identify unreported expenses and sources of income.
Tax Assessor’s Office
Property ownership records can also help uncover secret investments and real estate holdings. To access these records, a spouse will need to visit a tax assessor’s office, which lists all real estate holdings owned by individuals, including primary residences, vacation homes, and rental properties. These records can even provide information about unreported mortgages, which could then be used to find other potential sources of income.
Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets?
If you believe that your spouse is trying to hide assets during your divorce, we may be able to assist you. Dedicated Florida property division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. can help provide comprehensive legal support throughout the discovery process, helping ensure that you receive your fair share of marital assets. Contact us online or call us at 954-945-7591 to set up a free consultation.