Date: March 31, 2011
Do The Legwork For Your Attorney: Find The Hidden Assets Before You File For Divorce
There are many important functions that an Austin divorce attorney must contend with including getting their clients the best possible property settlement considering the circumstances. Be honest: an ideal world would have both spouses automatically letting the other know of all their assets and how those assets would be split. But this is not the ideal world and this is where Austin divorce attorneys come in handy.
Most people are often misled by the phrase hiding assets because their mind automatically thinks… physical hiding. It’s also not unheard of for parties in an Austin divorce case to undervalue assets. Those assets that are generally undervalued include:
One spouse, in the hopes to deceive the other, will often hide income. This can be done fairly easily by not reporting income on tax returns, depositing monies into the custodial bank accounts or placing it into the children’s accounts or placing the money in the name of a girlfriend/boyfriend or putting the money into an offshore account.
If an Austin divorce attorney believes his client is hiding or is undervaluing assets, he/she may need to employ the help of a forensic accountant, appraise or private investigator to find out if they are and where.
- A forensic account will intently examine credit card statements, bank statements, tax returns, receipts and other financial documents to find discrepancies.
- An appraiser will look at the antiques, artwork, collections, jewelry, real estate and other property to conclude what the fair market value is.
- A private investigator will find any hidden assets.
An Austin divorce lawyer may opt for a formal discovery to find hidden assets. The discovery methods under Texas Law are:
- Written questions that the other party must respond back to in writing.
- Requests for Admissions
- Requests for Disclosures
- Requests for Production of Documents
If you believe there are hidden assets, be sure to do some groundwork before you file for the divorce. You want to get as many financial documents as you can and make copies. Be sure these are hidden well outside your home so that your soon-to-be ex will not be able to get to them. If you take preparation steps now, you won’t be trying to find them during the divorce process.
Got questions about divorce and hidden assets? Get in touch with us today. Contact Us Here.