If you're headed for a high-net worth divorce, you may be concerned about your spouse hiding assets in attempt to deny you your fair share of the marital assets. This is not unusual; according to the National Endowment for Financial Education, spouses hide assets in 2 out of 3 marriages.
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that 9 out of 10 attorneys have clients that use smartphone spying to uncover their spouse's financial infidelity.
So, if you're suspicious of your own spouse, you're not alone. The reality is that spouses are in the habit of hiding assets from each other, especially when divorce is on the horizon.
People are quite creative when it comes to hiding money from a husband or wife. Often, funds will be hidden in an offshore account, a safe-deposit box, or they'll be transferred to a friend or relative. The thing is, with advances in modern technology, it's not as easy to hide large sums of money as it was 20 or 30 years ago.
Follow the Electronic Trail
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets from you, the first thing you want to do is put on your detective hat and look for clues in places like your spouse's social media accounts, and your browser's history. Beyond that, here are some common methods used by suspicious spouses to uncover hidden assets:
- Hidden GPS devices in spouse's cars (to find out about secret ATM withdrawals)
- Spy apps on smartphones
- Advanced software that finds discrepancies in financial statements
- Tax returns (for assets being reported to the state and federal government)
- Text messages that give a glimpse into a spouse's hidden financial life
- Emails from PayPal
- Private investigators
- Forensic accountants
Whenever a spouse suspects that their husband or wife is hiding assets from them, it's critical that they hire a divorce attorney who is adept at handling high-net-worth divorces and uncovering hidden assets.
Although technology has made it easier to uncover hidden assets than ever before, not all divorce lawyers are willing to employ cutting-edge technologies to help their clients get what they deserve.
Knowing Where to Look
If your personal investigation has been paralyzed by privacy laws, please be aware that your investigative efforts can still be very beneficial for your case during settlement negotiations. It all comes down to knowing where to look and what questions to ask – and we can help you with that.
Some spouses secretly own real estate investments, while others own businesses that their spouse doesn't know about. Usually, it's best to have a divorce attorney, a forensic accountant, or a private investigator conduct a search of hidden assets on your behalf.
We've seen many cases where a spouse said they couldn't afford spousal support (maintenance), but went on to post pictures on Facebook of them vacationing on a tropical island or in Europe with a new girlfriend.
It never ceases to amaze us how many divorcing spouses post incriminating photos of themselves all over the Internet. It's almost as if they want to get caught.
We're only scratching the surface when it comes to hidden assets. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, please know that this isn't a DIY project and that you need professional guidance.
To get the help you need, contact our Nassau County divorce firm for legal assistance!