Nassau County Family Law Blog

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dealing With Hidden Assets During Divorce

What can be done if you suspect your soon-to-be ex-spouse is hiding assets during your divorce proceedings?

Some of the most hotly contested issues in divorce proceedings are financial.  Instead of fighting over money, some people attempt to hide it from their spouse and the court.  Some of these assets have been accumulated because the person knows that divorce is imminent and some are assets that the other spouse never knew anything about. Regardless, hiding assets is a violation of the law.  If you are facing a divorce and you think that your spouse is hiding assets, there are a number of things you can do.

If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets but you have no real evidence yet, you should investigate to see if there is any basis for your suspicion.  As these matters are usually handled over the Internet today, a good place to start to look for financial information is on electronics.  You should use the computer and smart phone to your advantage.  A web browser can give you a lot of information just by looking at the history and cache.  This will show you what sites have been visited and sometimes information will also be left on the page.  Social media can be utilized to prove that your spouse has money he or she claims not to have.  It is shocking how many individuals make posts and share pictures that are incriminating in this way.  If your spouse claims not to have a retirement account, check the company website, if one exists, to determine what benefits are available to employees.  If you have access to your spouse’s emails because he or she uses a shared family computer or you are authorized to use that computer, you can peruse them as well for anything suspicious.

Another way to discover hidden assets is by hiring a private investigator to determine where your spouse has been or goes to when he or she has unexplained absences from your residence, if you're living together, or otherwise, 

Even in the digital age, we should not forget about paper mediums of investigation.  Tax returns (interest and dividends earned during that tax year) and bank statements can also be examined to determine if there are any assets that your spouse is trying to hide from you during a divorce.

If you do find some evidence that your spouse is hiding money, you should consult with an attorney right away.  An experienced divorce law attorney will know exactly where to look for hidden assets as well as what evidence will be needed to prove these claims to a court.

Howard B. Leff has over 35 years of experience as a divorce and family law attorney.  He assists clients in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, all of the boroughs of New York City and the surrounding Counties and can help you discover if your spouse is hiding assets.  Contact him today at (516)739-7500 for a consultation.

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