Dividing property is often one of the more difficult aspects of going through a divorce. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a spouse to hide assets to protect them from division with an ex-spouse.
If you suspect your spouse is not being fully transparent about money, property or other assets, there are some ways to find them. Although you can do some sleuthing on your own, you may need to employ the help of others.
Follow the paper and electronic trail
FindLaw recommends starting with the things that your spouse voluntarily discloses. Review statements and documents carefully and look for missing items or errors. If you have joint accounts and credit cards, search for expenses you were unaware of. You can also sometimes find clues on social media accounts. If you do not agree with a stated value on any of the assets, you can appraise them independently.
Use the court system
For harder-to-find assets, such as a separate bank account your spouse opened unbeknownst to you, you can take legal action. Your attorney may be able to depose your soon-to-be ex, and the statements are sworn testimony that you can use in court at a later date. You can also ask the judge to make formal requests for asset- and financial-related information.
If it is a high-asset divorce, or if you are positive your spouse is hiding assets, it may be worth hiring experts to investigate further. A private investigator is one option, although you may also need a financial or technical expert. CNBC explains that a forensic expert may be able to find cryptocurrency accounts or offshore bank accounts.