One of the most contentious portions of a divorce is the division of property. This is when each individual must go through the marital assets and determine who gets what. There are those who go through this process amicably but there are also some who are motivated to hide assets.
There are ways that you can protect yourself from an unscrupulous ex. Some tips include:
#1: Get organized
The first step is to get your paperwork in order. Once you have done this, you can move forward with the rest of the process and get a better idea of whether your future ex is trying to hide assets. This can also make it easier to figure out which assets they are trying to hide and where to find them.
#2: Go through bank accounts and records
Check for unusual transfers or a failure to make deposits. Make note of the date and missing amount.
#3: Go through old tax filings.
This can provide a valuable source of information. You may need to do more digging if the claimed income noted on tax filings does not match up with the information the other party is sharing during the divorce or if there are other discrepancies. Areas to check include:
- Business interests. If concerned that your ex has failed to disclose business interests, check Schedule B Interest and Dividends and Schedule C Profit or Loss from Business on your tax returns. Verify the claims on the tax filings match the accounts disclosed during divorce.
- Property. When checking for undisclosed real estate, look at Schedule A Itemized Deductions. Check for property tax deductions to see if there is undisclosed real estate.
- Miscellaneous. Schedule D Capital Gains and Losses can cover all sorts of different assets. Taxpayers can use this portion to look for securities, stocks, bonds, real estate, and other investment tools.
These are just a few of the many strategies to use when checking for hidden assets. Taking the time to check can mean you better ensure you get a fair share of the marital assets after the divorce is finalized.