If you are beginning a divorce in California, you and your spouse will need to disclose all assets and debts as part of the discovery process during the preparation for the division of property. However, everyone is not completely forthcoming about what they own and you might need to research and find hidden assets that can impact your final divorce settlement.
When, why and how do people hide assets?
Hiding property might come as the marriage is dissolving. To hide assets from the other spouse, the person might ask for the help of a relative, friend or new romantic partner to transfer funds or titles into their names. It might also happen much earlier in the marriage, such as when one spouse makes an investment or buys real estate or other high-value things without the spouse’s knowledge.
Finding the hidden assets
If you suspect that your spouse has been doing this, you will need to do some research to find the facts and ensure that your divorce settlement is fair. Some of the ways you can go about finding the information include:
- Looking at tax records, such as your spouse’s tax return and your county tax assessor’s records
- Checking through the checking and savings account statements and canceled checks for the information you do not recognize
- Finding about any bonuses or other work financial benefits that your spouse has put on hold
A divorce settlement should be fair to both parties. This is only achievable if both spouses are completely honest about their assets and debts. You might want to trust your spouse, but you also need to look out for your interests during the divorce. To ensure this, you might need to take the time to research and find out the truth.