Finding Hidden Income & Assets
Dec. 7, 2022
When two people have spent years building a life together, having to untangle that life is often a difficult and stressful endeavor. If both spouses are committed to staying civil and communicative with one another during a divorce, this can help immensely with complicated tasks like child custody, alimony, and asset division.
However, if one spouse is not being honest with the other, this can become a truly daunting undertaking. If you feel your partner is lying to you about their finances and you need help finding your spouse’s hidden income, you’ll need to enlist the help of a family law attorney to ensure you’re following all relevant laws when addressing this. If you’re in the Corpus Christi, Texas, or the Dallas & Fort Worth area, reach out to us at The Torres Law Firm for trusted legal assistance.
Division of Assets in Texas
When it comes to the division of assets in Texas, it’s important to look at the state’s community property laws. These laws state that almost all property and assets that are acquired during a marriage are considered jointly owned by both spouses. This can include real property like houses, vehicles, or furniture, as well as assets like retirement funds and investments. It can also include revenues from any separate property (that was owned individually by one partner before the marriage) and jointly held debts.
According to state law, these assets must be divided in a “just and right” manner, which doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split but should mean an equitable division.
Commonly Hidden Assets or Income
There are many ways that a person may try to hide assets during a divorce. Here are some common ways that individuals often hide assets:
Open accounts that their spouse is unaware of
Under-report income or profits from their business
Gift large amounts of money to a friend or family member so it doesn’t show up on account statements
Convert money into travelers checks that are harder to trace
Undervaluing certain property that you own, such as family heirlooms, artwork, guns, or antiques
Opening accounts in someone else’s name such as a child or paramour, so there’s no connection at all to them. This is often done through a custodial account that’s opened with a child’s social security number.
Uncovering the Truth
Finding hidden assets during a divorce is a complicated process, but not an impossible one. However, it’s essential that you follow all laws during this time.
You should begin by communicating directly with your attorney and outline everything you know about you and your spouse’s assets. This should include giving them all relevant personal information that could help them uncover assets such as:
Your spouse’s full name
Social security number
Copies of loan applications
Access to any accounts or insurance policies
There are rules about how and where you can look for this information, and your attorney can guide you to work within the law and avoid costly mistakes.
Finding these assets is often completed during the divorce discovery process which is a legal proceeding that your attorney will direct. During this stage, your attorney can directly ask your spouse for certain information or documents which may include gaining access to the property to appropriately appraise certain items. They can also request that your spouse sit through a formal deposition where they’ll be required to answer questions about their finances under oath.
Don’t Face Divorce Alone
If you’re facing a contested divorce in which you have reason to believe your spouse isn’t being honest with you, contact us at The Torres Law Firm in Corpus Christi, Texas, for help. We also serve throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth area.