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Attorneys Vic Hill and Brad MacDonald

Look for hidden assets to get your fair share in divorce

Getting a divorce could be the right thing to do in your circumstances, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier on you. You have to end your relationship with your spouse at the same time as trying to work together to come up with settlement agreements and custody arrangements (if you have children together).

It may feel like settling your marital property should be the least difficult aspect of your divorce, but one thing you should watch out for is any asset that appears to be missing. Hiding assets is against the law, but some people do attempt to hide away valuable assets to keep what they want and to avoid giving their spouse a fair share in a divorce.

What can you do if you suspect some of your marital assets are missing?

If you have gone through your bank accounts and other investments as well as your personal property and feel like something is missing, it’s time to invest some time into looking for hidden assets.

The easiest way to do this is to comb through your documents and compare them to the documents that your spouse has submitted detailing your marital assets. See what overlaps and what doesn’t to find any assets you or they may have missed.

Then, look at your credit reports. You and your spouse have separate reports that will indicate credit usage and help you track down assets you might have forgotten about.

Check social media posts, too. Look at photos, dates and timestamps to figure out where assets are or if they’ve been sold.

For situations where you know that an asset is missing but aren’t sure where to look to find it, you may want to reach out to a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant will go through your financial documents and track your expenses so that they can determine where money is being spent or transferred.

After you do all of these things, it’s possible that you’ll find all the assets that either of you know about. Disclose as many as you can find to the court. If your spouse doesn’t do the same, then they could be held responsible, and you could be put into a better position for negotiating during your divorce.