From navigating the emotional turmoil of losing your partner to adapting to changes in your family unit to the stress of managing financial upheaval, divorce can be an incredibly stressful period in a person’s life. However, if your spouse attempts to hide assets during your divorce, this kind of betrayal can be especially difficult to endure.
The good news is that with the help of a divorce attorney who is experienced with uncovering hidden assets during divorce, you have a better chance of recovering what has been hidden. It’s important, however, to first understand how property division works during a divorce and what tools lawyers have at their disposal to uncover hidden assets.
Understanding Property Division in Texas
US states have customarily chosen to abide by one of two principles of property when it comes to marriage and divorce – community property or equitable distribution. Texas, however, is a community property state that uses equitable distribution rules. This means that assets acquired after marriage are considered to be owned by the “community” – that is, jointly by both spouses – but this community property is divided according to the principle of equitable distribution.
This means that community property may not necessarily be divided equally, but rather will be divided fairly. A judge makes a determination about what is fair based on several factors, including:
- Whether one spouse was at fault for the divorce due to infidelity, abandonment, cruelty, or felony conviction
- The age and health of each party
- The length of the marriage
- The educational level, vocational skills, and earning power of each party
- Their separate assets and debts
- Either spouse’s role as a caregiver
- Dissipation of assets during the marriage by either spouse
If your spouse has attempted to hide either community or separate assets, this could impact the final outcome of your divorce significantly by giving them an unfair advantage when it comes time for negotiations or court proceedings related to asset division. Without an accurate starting point for both parties’ assets and debts, any agreement resulting from such an inaccurate accounting will inevitably be inequitable and unfair.
How an Experienced Divorce Attorney Can Uncover Hidden Assets
If your ex is attempting to hide assets during a divorce, it can be difficult to know how to proceed. Fortunately, an experienced divorce attorney can help you uncover any hidden assets with the use of various tools, including:
- Reviewing tax returns and financial statements
- Conducting forensic audits
- Deposing your spouse or other witnesses
- Visiting properties owned by your ex
- Subpoenaing records from third parties
Your lawyer will review all relevant documents thoroughly to see if there are any discrepancies or suspicious activities that could indicate hidden assets. For example, they may look for unusual transfers of money or investments made without your knowledge, as well as other possible hiding places for assets such as offshore accounts or trusts set up in another person's name. Additionally, they may use public records searches to uncover any real estate holdings that have not been disclosed by your former spouse.
They may even employ forensic accountants who specialize in locating and tracking down hidden assets. These experts are trained to analyze financial data and identify discrepancies that could indicate fraudulent activity on the part of your former spouse. With their help, it is much easier to locate sources of income that have been withheld from you without your knowledge or consent.
An experienced divorce attorney will take into consideration all available options when looking for hidden assets so that you get back whatever has been taken away from you during this difficult time. They will work hard to make sure justice is served so that the outcome of your divorce is equitable for both parties involved regardless of any attempts at deception by one side.
How Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. Can Help
At Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C., we understand how daunting it can be to be faced with a partner who is trying to hide assets during a divorce. With over 3 decades of experience in family law, we have the experience and resources necessary to investigate any suspicious activity by your former partner. We are dedicated to making sure your rights and interests are protected regardless of your ex’s attempts at deception.
If you suspect that your ex is hiding assets, contact us online or call us at (281) 612-5443 to schedule a consultation.