Getting divorced can feel like burning your life down and then rebuilding it from scratch. You will probably need as much of the marital estate as you can get as you move forward.
Unfortunately, some people will go to great lengths, possibly even breaking the law, in order to deprive their spouse of their rightful share of the marital assets in a divorce.
Before you file for divorce or make any property agreements with your spouse, it’s important that you make sure you have tracked down all of the marital property the two of you have. There are a few places you will want to check for potential hidden assets.
Look over tax paperwork for signs of missing income
If your spouse has strategically hidden resources throughout your marriage, the chances are good that they won’t be forthcoming about that fact when you file for divorce. They might even try to hide tax paperwork from you or alter it so you aren’t aware of what they have done.
Getting your hands on tax, income and bank records before your spouse knows you intend to file can help you or a forensic accountant locate signs of misappropriated marital assets.
Review financial records for storage unit or safety deposit box payments
Some people will hide physical assets from their spouse, which can be harder to track and locate than financial resources. If your spouse has a safety deposit box or storage unit that you have never seen, there could be valuable resources inside that will increase the value of your marital estate.
Don’t overlook the items you don’t want to keep yourself
If your spouse has a collection of designer watches or valuable fine jewelry, you may not want any of those actual assets in the divorce. However, if you or your ex bought those items during the marriage, their value contributes to the total value of your marital estate.
An experienced family law attorney can help you work to ensure that you have a full list of all of the assets that you’re entitled to split with your spouse.