Because you and your spouse have a high net worth, you may have several challenges in the divorce process that those without high assets do not face. One of these is taking steps to ensure that your spouse does not hide assets from you in order to keep more than his or her equitable share of the marital property.
It can be difficult to prove the existence of the hidden assets if your spouse is making diligent efforts to keep them concealed. You are not without resources, though, if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets.
Forensic accounting and hidden assets
A particular branch of accounting, forensic accounting, works at locating hidden assets. Forensic accountants use their training to detect fraud and embezzlement, and they analyze financial information to use in legal proceedings, such as divorce. A forensic accountant can be a powerful partner on your divorce team. Many attorneys who work specifically with high asset divorces will refer a qualified forensic accountant to clients who need assistance in cases of hidden assets or other discrepancies in the financial side of the divorce.
Proper documentation and evidence
You can help your divorce attorney and forensic accountant to defend your rights to property and assets by gathering as much documentation and evidence as possible regarding your financial situation and that of your spouse. Make sure you also clearly document as best as you can all the reasons for your suspicions about hidden assets.
Ways that spouses hide assets can include underreporting income on taxes, concealing bank accounts and investment accounts, transferring money to other people’s accounts, setting up new accounts, or even deferring salary increases or bonuses until after the divorce becomes final. Since there are so many ways a spouse can conceal assets and it can be so difficult to uncover the evidence, professional assistance in this specialized area is of paramount importance.