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How to discover hidden assets in a divorce

Georgia is one of the most expensive states to divorce in. In one recent study, Georgia ranked eighth in terms of the most expensive places to divorce.

While it can cost a lot of money to divorce, you hope you will end up with a fair settlement, especially if your spouse makes substantially more money than you do. However, people have ways to hide money and assets so you do not get them in a divorce. Here are a few ways you can be proactive in uncovering hidden assets. 

Go to the courthouse

If your spouse has ever applied for a loan from a mortgage company or bank, then a copy of the record will be on file at your local courthouse. On these types of application, the individual needs to list all assets and money owned. This list also includes an estimation of the value of all assets to provide collateral. It is a federal crime to lie on these types of applications, so there is a high likelihood your spouse told the truth if he or she ever needed a loan. 

Look at tax returns

Another place where people are most likely to be honest about their income and assets is their tax returns. Lying on tax returns can result in prison time, and you should be able to acquire these documents with relative ease. You should look for any real estate holdings, partnerships and trusts listed on the paperwork. 

Look into people close to your spouse

One common tactic is for a divorcing spouse to give money and items to friends and coworkers as “gifts.” This other person hangs onto the items until the person has finalized the separation. You also need to look into your partner’s workplace. It is possible he or she instructed a boss to delay awarding a bonus or raise until after the divorce.