What Happens If a Divorcing Spouse Hides Assets?

Concealment of assets and income is a major problem in divorce. Spouses often go to great lengths to mislead their husbands and wives about their property and money. Transparency and honesty are not only essential to the divorce process, they are demanded by divorce judges in Texas. If you suspect your spouse is not being truthful about their assets or income, we have some practical guidance.

Hannah Law, PC explains what you need to know.  Get in touch with a Friendswood, TX divorce lawyer today by calling 281-262-1311.

How to Make Sure the Other Spouse Isn’t Hiding Assets

Whether you are just beginning your divorce or has it been proceeding for some time, concealment is always a possibility. You may have suspicions that your husband or wife is not being upfront about their property holdings, assets, and income.

We suggest doing the following things.

Ask Your Spouse

Either directly or through counsel, ask your husband or wife to turn over critical records. These include bank account statements, investment records, titles to property, deeds, and more. There may be no need to further escalate the situation if your husband or wife is forthcoming. However, more steps may be needed if you believe the documents don’t tell the full story.

Work Together to Track Down Records

If your spouse says he or she is unable to find a certain financial or property record, offer to help. You can work together to contact banks, financial institutions, and government offices to get the documents you need. Of course, if the spouse is reluctant to help at all, this could be a red flag.

Use Discovery Tools

If the other spouse is not cooperating with your reasonable requests, more aggressive action may be needed. This is where discovery comes in. It is a formal process by which parties request and exchange relevant divorce information.

Discovery can force the other spouse to turn over documents under threat of contempt and sanctions.

Property Division in Divorce

Subpoena Records

Through your attorney, you can also subpoena information from third parties who may have it. A subpoena requires a bank or other establishment to hand over information it has about accounts and other property.

Hire a Private Investigator

In some cases, it is a good idea to hire a private investigator to follow your spouse. Your husband or wife could, for instance, lead the investigator to a piece of property you didn’t know about. The spouse may also be seen visiting an investment broker or bank you didn’t know he or she did business with.

Hire a Forensic Accountant

A forensic accountant is someone who examines financial records for evidence of concealment. By reviewing account statements, tax returns, business documents, and more, the accountant can locate hidden assets. While this may seem like a lot of work, it could uncover substantial amounts of property.

Consider Filing a Restraining Order

Some spouses, knowing that their assets or income will be discovered, try to liquidate or spend them away. If you believe this might happen, you need a restraining order to stop it. This can prevent him or her from draining bank accounts or selling property to which you may have a right.

Your Best Step to Protect What’s Yours: Hire a Divorce Attorney

As a divorcing spouse, you have a right to a share of the community estate (marital property). But your husband or wife might attempt to cheat you out of this by concealing property and money. By hiring legal counsel early, you can lessen the chances of this happening.

Talk to Hannah Law, PC. We can help you take the necessary steps to protect your best interests during divorce. Call us today at 281-262-1311 to get started.

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