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How To Discover Hidden Assets In a Divorce


Asset Search Basics

Let's first discuss what an asset search is when you begin an asset investigation and what parameters should be followed when conducting an in-depth asset search to find hidden assets in a divorce.


What is An Asset Search?

An asset search is an investigation into what tangible property the subject of the inquiry may have in their care, custody, and control.


When To Begin Financial Investigations into Assets

An asset investigation should begin before you serve the other party due process. We recommend that asset investigations start when contemplating a divorce or other legal matter to understand what assets the party may have that are useful in aiding discovery and recovery.


Before You Start

Remember that the other party may have been clever about hiding assets. You will want your

Private investigator looking for assets
Financial Investigators Work With Your Attorney

financial investigator to manage your inquiry discreetly not to alarm the other party, and you, as the client, should follow the same principles. Do not tell the other party you will put them under scrutiny. Doing so may send them scurrying to obscure their tracks further, which will significantly increase your overall investigation expenses.




Financial Investigator - Working With Your Divorce Attorney

Conducting a divorce asset search should be done before divorce proceedings. As we have shared, it is essential to meet with your lawyer and investigator discreetly. Ensure that your attorney has all the relevant facts about your marriage and spouse to help you and the private investigator understand what they need to represent your interests before the court successfully.


Your financial investigator (private detective) wants to help you find the assets that your spouse may hide, be obscured, or be challenging to find. We want to know what may be necessary to your particular matter and what will help you legally obtain what you deserve.


Divorce Asset Investigation

A divorce asset investigation is no different than any other form of inquiry. We want to find the assets you have accumulated during your marriage and account for all of these to ensure the fairest legal outcome.


Spade & Archer locates property, money, possessions, wealth, valuables, reserves, and other substantial possessions not only in your spouse's name but obscured behind trusts, filings, shell companies, and offshore accounts.


How Much is Your Spouse Hiding?

How much your spouse is hiding will depend on many factors. Here are a few questions we ask our clients about their spouses to understand the potential for hiding their wealth.


What Does The Spouse Do For a Living?

Understanding their career often clues them to their ability to hide property. Our clients have had spouses that were lawyers, intellectual property attorneys, financial advisors, wealth managers, Wall Street traders, and CEOs. These are usually financially savvy people. Knowing this helps us to understand better the propensity for challenging asset searches.


What Has the Spouse Been Reading or Watching?

Should your spouse be interested in asset protection on any level, perhaps YouTube videos, or are you seeing new books lying around? There may be a good reason to believe they have been laying the groundwork for covering their wealth by using the methods they are learning about.


Do You Have a Tax Attorney or Wealth Advisor?

You can just about bet that should your spouse has an annual tax attorney and wealth advisors, and their money has been well protected.


Have You Seen Restructuring?

Has your spouse soft peddled a new living trust, changed bank accounts around to "simplify" life, and even potentially restricted your access to your financial means? Again, this is a reasonable step to isolate you from the assets they are attempting to protect.


Paperwork and Passcodes

Are bills, tax papers, and other asset-related paperwork suddenly going to another address, such as a postal mail center or office? Is your partner starting to hoard passwords in a password manager you cannot access?


Preparing For Divorce Case

We have laid the framework for considering the asset search and whether your spouse has the potential to hide their net worth. Of course, there is more to believe.

Family going through divorce
How to Prepare for Divorce

Still, we want to keep a complicated process simple enough to understand the general concept so that you can contemplate whether you can obtain a favorable judgment in a divorce settlement.


The most common asset obfuscation that we uncover is underreported income and assets. Underreporting is just another way of fraudulently attempting to circumvent the legal process.


How To Prepare For Divorce

We want you to consider three distinct steps when preparing for divorce, primarily if you aim to find all the property that is possibly legally yours.


Step 1: Discretion

Use discretion. Work in secret. Don't spill the beans; we need you to be able to have unfettered access to specific pieces of information that may make your financial investigation cost you less money. Also, it would help if you didn't alert your future former spouse about the legal steps you are taking, thus creating more chaos in an already challenging environment.


Step 2: Consult With a Divorce Attorney

Yes, you can have a DIY divorce; it is perfectly legal, and your right. However, consider that you would not be reading this if it wasn't for the potential for there to be substantial assets that belong to you and any children from the marriage.


It would be best if you had legal assistance navigating complex divorce proceedings and getting the appropriate spousal support, alimony, child support, and other assets.


Step 3: Hire a Financial Investigator

That's us. We are licensed private investigators specializing in financial investigations, including asset searches. The sooner that we go to work locating any wealth, possessions, and fortune, the better off your attorney is in matching our findings to the discovery.


Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets?

Keep in mind that all assets are marital property until the divorce settlement. The family financial holdings are still legally discoverable, and the support may provide for a fair divorce settlement.


Analyzing whether your spouse is controlling and possibly hiding resources is what our private investigative team can help you bring to light.


The more money you and your spouse make, the more likely one or both of you has created asset protection strategies.


How Your Spouse Hides Assets

Your spouse may hide assets in any number of ways. We keep an open mind so that we are not deceived into thinking one thing, yet it is something completely different.


One way your spouse may hide their wealth is through companies. Establishing and investing money into these companies, often shell companies cleverly hidden in states that support little to no knowledge of the executives is one-way assets during a divorce may be obscured.


Another method used to hide assets is to move them into family names. In some cases, we expand our asset investigations to see what family and friends have recently obtained and how they have obtained such assets to ensure we understand the big picture.


How Much Does a Divorce Asset Search Cost? ($3500 on average)

Divorce asset investigations usually cost, on average, around $3500. We have some clients that pay as little as $1500 and some that pay as much as $25,000. A lot will depend on your spouse, the wealth you know, and the possibility of hidden wealth based on some of the things we have discussed.


We conduct a thorough assessment as part of our work on your divorce asset hunt. We start with our review to better understand you and your spouse, and then from that point, we create the strategy that works well with your attorney's considerations.


We charge $52.50 for an in-depth consultation.




High-Net-Worth Asset Investigations

Do I need to be a high-net-worth individual to perform an asset search for divorce proceedings? Not! Most of our clients have reported combined income under $250k per year. Yes, we serve 7-8 figure earners too, but most asset clients are in a more modest earning cycle.


Even people who earn far less than a million dollars a year have assets to hide, especially in the day when side-hustles are the new normal.


Stock market asset investigation
We Find Assets of High-Net-Worth and Average Earners


Hidden Assets In a Divorce

What are the searches in divorce asset investigation? What do you need to have to prepare for litigation? Can we uncover assets in other people's names?

These are all great questions. Let us answer them more succinctly here:


What Can a Financial Investigator Search?

There are a plethora of answers to this question. Our financial investigators will base their work on the initial assessment. It is a pretty thorough assessment that helps us understand your and your spouse's financial snapshot.


We search for bank accountants, investment accounts, safe deposit boxes, life insurance policies, securities, cryptocurrency, business names, corporations, LLCs, real estate property, water, and aircraft.

Money connected to your spouse via friends and family may be another avenue of investigation. We also look for collections, intellectual property, and other considerations.


What Do You Need To Prepare For Litigation?

If you are contemplating divorce, you need whatever you can to gain the most leverage over the accumulated assets. You need an in-depth asset search so that you and your litigator can ensure the fairest outcome.


What If My Spouse Has Hidden Wealth In Family Names?

We can find that too. Of course, we want to balance your risk vs. reward, and although the sky is the limit, we want to take careful steps with your attorney to ensure what you are asking for is beneficial to your case.


What Is The True Net-Worth of Your Spouse?

Net worth is determined by many factors such as:

  • Their current W-2 or 1099 income

  • The liquid assets available in your checking and savings accounts

  • The earning potential of your spouse

  • Property

  • Cars

  • Stocks or Other Investments

  • Trust Funds

  • Retirement Accounts

  • Percentages owned by corporations

  • Tax returns

  • Other sources of income

  • Safety deposit boxes


Other factors are also worth considering, but these are some basic net worth items to calculate as you proceed into litigation. This partial list can also reveal whether there are more arms in legs that may be considered marital property and thus directly impact child support and spousal support.


Our hidden assets search may reveal tangible and intangible assets such as bank statements/accounts, brokerage accounts, and real property if there are concealed assets. We can find your spouse's assets.


No one but a licensed private investigator can legally identify assets; many are considered asset search specialists.


Uncover Assets In Your Divorce Call: (415) 715-1956

Use only a qualified private investigator to assist you with document collection and verification. We help our clients dig through filing cabinets, look for offshore bank accounts, and dig for even the most obscure piece of marital finances and financial documents.


We follow all federal regulations and privacy laws when we help our clients understand what is happening behind their backs. If your spouse attempts to hide even one dollar, you can be sure they are hiding more.




Magnifying glass on coin
We Find Hidden and Obscured Assets


Hidden Asset Searches in Divorce 3.2 Million Dollars

We started keeping track of previously undisclosed assets to our clients or attorneys beginning in 2016. Since then, we have helped our clients find 3.2 million dollars of hidden assets. Spouses should honestly disclose property in divorce proceedings, but it is rarely the case as there are so many methods d in which people hide money.


When considering investigations for divorce, one of the most often overlooked investigations is the property in the divorce. Everyone wants to know who their spouse is sleeping with, and they spend their money on surveillance investigations. When your marriage is broke and you are in a one-party state, spend your money on the asset search. Hire a private investigator to conduct an investigation and gather legitimate documentation that could involve getting you more of what you deserve.


Find Hidden Assets Now!

In closing, make a rational decision. If your funds are limited, use them to obtain legal counsel and hire a financial investigator to help you find the hidden wealth of your spouse. Asset searches are far more important than proving who they may be committing adultery. Please don't rely on the discovery process. Although well-meaning and a way for the courts to have a snapshot of joint property, it is one of the most common methods routinely fraudulently circumvented in matrimonial matters in the U.S.


Find all the property owned during your marriage by contacting us today at (415) 715-1956 or sending us a message. We want to help, and we want to ensure fairness in an often very unfair process.



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