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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 po