As a marriage comes to an end, Texas couples will be faced with the division of their property. Though the goal of this process is to have a fair distribution, that might not be the priority for some spouses. Identifying assets is the first step in ensuring that a settlement is balanced.
Preparing for the financial implications of divorce
Even before the divorce process starts, it is a good idea to start identifying all assets and debts and collecting the paperwork to support this. In cases where one person might suspect that their spouse will attempt to hide assets, it is best to begin identifying all assets before bringing up the topic of divorce. There are several ways people attempt to hide assets, including:
- Incurring new debt
- Transferring ownership of the property to another person
- Claiming that the asset does not exist
- Reporting that they lost the property
Where to look for hidden assets
While it might be challenging to prove that hidden assets exist, there are some places to begin the investigation that will usually yield a paper trail. To look for evidence that assets exist, you can start by reviewing all the documents you have access to. These might be located in a safe deposit box at the bank or at home or in a file cabinet. If you own a home, you might look at the paperwork that was used to apply for the mortgage, which might include a list of all assets and debts. In addition, you can review past tax returns, focusing on the different schedules where assets, profits and debts are listed.
Being diligent in your investigation will help you prepare for the division of property during divorce. It might also help prevent your spouse from hiding any assets as the process begins. If you suspect that your spouse has indeed hidden assets, an attorney might be able to help you recover them.