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Suspicious of hidden assets in divorce?

It's one thing to mutually decide that your marriage is no longer sustainable, then file for divorce hoping for a swift and relatively painless process so you can gain possession of the assets that are rightfully yours and move on toward a new, independent lifestyle. It's quite another to get drawn into a stressful situation where you suspect your soon-to-be former spouse is trying to hide assets so he or she can gain the upper-hand in a settlement.

Not only is that type of behavior mean-spirited and nasty, it's also (sadly) fairly common and always illegal. It's easy to think it might be a mere figment of your own imagination when you first start to see signs of possible asset hiding. Rather than blame yourself for seeing things that aren't there, it's always a good idea to document your suspicions and then investigate any issues causing you concern. It's also wise to know where to turn for outside support if needed.

Don't ignore the warning signs

Perhaps you went to your local Summit County bank or a bank in a nearby region or online, and the balance in your account was significantly less than what you remembered or had written in your balance book. Maybe you asked your spouse about a pay bonus and he or she said it came but was given to a friend to pay back a loan (that you had no idea existed). Both situations may be signs that your spouse is trying to stash money or hide assets in divorce.

Full disclosure necessary

If you believe your spouse has misrepresented the value of a particular high value asset, you may seek an independent appraisal of the item in question to verify that the provided assessment is fair. In fact, you may review and inspect any asset your spouse includes on a voluntary disclosure list and may seek assistance to further investigate any issue that doesn't seem to be on the up and up.

Interrogatory investigations

You may submit a formal request that your spouse answer questions regarding certain financial information, assets or debts. Your spouse must provide answers within a certain amount of time.

Other measures of investigation

There are also ways to secure your spouse's sworn testimony regarding any hidden asset suspicions you may have. It's always best to provide as much evidence as possible, including any bank information or other documentation that may help substantiate your claim.

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