You could have sworn you had a checking account with $20,000, a savings account with $75,000 and an investment account with about $300,000. However, during the process of dividing your marital assets, your spouse – who has always managed the money in your relationship -- is reporting different figures. By your spouse's figures, your marital estate is worth approximately $200,000 less than it should be.
Could your spouse be hiding money? Here are a few tips and tricks that divorce attorneys use to find out:
Scrutinize everything that doesn't look right
During your asset division proceedings, your spouse is required by law to be up front and honest about assets, debts, income and more. If you see anything that doesn't add up, tell your attorney immediately. Your attorney can demand specific financial information, ask vital questions and even depose your spouse under oath to find out what happened to any lost assets.
Order independent appraisals
During the discovery phase of divorce litigation, your spouse may provide you with various appraisals indicating the value of art, vehicles, real estate, investments, antiques and collectibles. It's possible that they're not entirely accurate, so you might not want to take these appraisals at face value. It's always best to hire your own, independent appraiser who you can trust.
With the help of an experienced divorce attorney, who is teamed up with a forensic accountant and tax accountant, your soon-to-be ex shouldn't be able to unlawfully hide any marital assets from you. If it is discovered that your spouse has been hiding money during your divorce, the presiding judge will likely punish him or her by awarding a larger percentage of the marital estate to you in recognition of your honesty.