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How to discover hidden assets during property division

When it comes to Pennsylvania divorces, couples are always transparent and honest about their finances, right? Not so fast. Scores of divorces in this state and throughout the nation involve hidden or secret assets that one spouse is attempting to ferret away for themselves. The fact that all marital property is subject to equitable division rules does not necessarily prevent partners from acting in their own self-interest. So, if you suspect that your spouse is hiding asset from you, what course of action should you take? Today, we discuss some options for revealing such misdeeds.

In modern times, most people's financial records are available in some form online. If you think your spouse is hiding assets from you, the first place to check might be your home computer or smartphone. A simple browser search may reveal an electronic data trail that leads to hidden assets. Software can also be installed to track online habits; those apps can identify potential property holdings that have not been disclosed in the courtroom.

Attorneys are also critical assets when it comes to uncovering hidden property in your divorce. Legal professionals are well-versed in the use of technological methods to identify hidden assets. Further, your legal team can help you abide by privacy law, ensuring that more of your evidence is admissible in court. Even illegally obtained information may be useful as leverage in a settlement negotiation, however.

The fact is that about two out of every three marriages involve hidden assets. These may vary in nature and size, but the majority of spouses are trying to hide financial holdings from their partners during their split. Marital property should be fairly divided, and both partners should be required to be honest about their holdings.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Uncovering Hidden Assets in Divorce Litigation" David Centeno, Aug. 15, 2014

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