Looking for Hidden Assets in a Virginia Divorce
Property distribution is one of the main topics that cause a significant number of arguments in a couple’s divorce. Combing through your assets and financials can bring out the ugly side in people. You will have some people who will claim specific assets are separate property while the other spouse claims they are not receiving enough financial compensation in the divorce.
Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means all marital assets will be distributed in a manner that is fair for both parties, but it does not mean 50/50 right down the middle. Irrational fears on both sides can lead some people to want to conceal assets as a self-preservation tactic. However, it is illegal to conceal assets in a divorce.
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, it’s imperative to speak with a skilled Leesburg divorce attorney right away. In some cases, it may take the assistance of experts who have the necessary experience in uncovering deeply hidden assets. If you are looking for evidence that your spouse is hiding assets, here are some suggestions on where to look on your own.
Go Over Bank Account Statements and Canceled Checks
Checking account statements and canceled checks are one place to start. There may be checks for purchases you never knew about, like an investment. You may also come across bank account statements and canceled checks from accounts you have zero knowledge of. That can be even more telling that something is going on.
Do you have dividend producing assets? Are there unexplained deposits and withdrawals? Make sure to get copies of everything you can before you separate so you can show your attorney.
Be Sure to Look at Tax Returns
Tax returns are where most people are terrified to lie. The fear of fines, penalties, and even criminal charges can keep a spouse honest, at least to the IRS. Be sure to look back through several years of returns, usually five is a good number to start with. You want to look for inconsistencies in your spouse’s income, real estate holdings, partnerships, trusts, etc.
Check Public Records
If there are financial documents on file at the courthouse, you may be able to ascertain information there. Also, the county tax assessor’s offices will have all information on real estate, so if your find money was taken from an account to purchase real estate, you’ll find all the necessary info here.
Look for Outside Parties Who May Be Helping
Sometimes, a spouse will enlist outside third parties to help. Maybe he or she asks their boss to delay end-of-year bonuses or performance raises until after the divorce. Sometimes, a friend will assist by helping forge a fraudulent debt with the agreement that the friend will return the money to the spouse once the divorce is concluded.
Contact a Leesburg Divorce Attorney Today
If you believe your spouse is hiding money or assets from you, contact Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC today to schedule an initial consultation. Let our knowledgeable team of Leesburg divorce attorneys help protect your rights and keep your ex from trying to make off with assets that should be divided.