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Finding hidden assets can change the outcome of your divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2021 | High Asset Divorce |

Dividing your property can be one of the hardest parts of getting a divorce. You and your ex may both want to stay in the family home or keep certain assets for yourself.

When you don’t agree about who gets what and you don’t have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it will be the Missouri family courts that decide how to split everything up equitably. They will make their decision after reviewing inventories of your household assets and debts.

Some people hate the idea of their ex getting valuable marital property in a divorce. They might go so far as to hide some money or physical assets so that their spouse can’t claim that property and the courts can’t divide it. How do you find hidden assets to make sure you get a fair outcome in your pending divorce?

Do your own comprehensive inventory

Don’t just rely on your ex to honestly detail everything they own and the value of those items. Whether they have furnished their office with antiques purchased with marital income or if they have amassed a significant collection of fine art pieces, each of those items could contribute to the overall value of your marital estate. You don’t have to want the items themselves to deserve your fair share of their value.

Once you know what you have, you may want to speak with professionals in the industry. Realtors or appraisers can help you put a fair price on real property, while niche experts can help you price antiques, fine art, classic cars and jewelry. The purchase price may not reflect the current value of the property, so bringing an expert help can maximize the value that you can claim your share of in the divorce.

Check your financial records carefully and call the professionals if necessary

You need copies of your household financial records, banking statements and taxes in order to look for hidden income or secret banking accounts. If you don’t have the time or ability to do this work yourself or you own complex financial holdings, it may be best to bring in a forensic accountant to review household records and hopefully track down missing financial assets or locate hidden accounts.

Once you find those hidden assets, you can present them to the courts and ask for your fair share. If you have clear evidence that your spouse intentionally hid them and misrepresented their holdings to the court and to you, the courts may penalize your spouse for that unscrupulous behavior by rewarding you a larger portion of the marital estate than they normally would.