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Discovering hidden assets during property division

Divorce is a commonality in all areas of the U.S. According to information on family legal issues collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 37,900 divorces in North Carolina in 2009 alone. Many of those who come to us here at the offices of Epperson Law PLLC looking to end their marriages are concerned that their soon-to-be ex-spouses will look to take advantage of them during the divorce proceedings. One of the areas where people often look to exploit their spouses during a divorce is during the distribution of marital assets. In this post, we'll examine how one can determine if his or her spouse may be hiding assets from the court during property division proceedings.

When examining marital assets, there are some basic steps to follow that, if done properly, will reveal most sources of hidden income or assets an ex-spouse hasn't disclosed: 

  • A thorough review of financial documents: This includes bank statements, paystubs, tax forms and returns, public records, credit card statements, and cancelled checks. Keep an eye out for discrepancies such as instances were net monthly income doesn't match bank deposit records, or times when the monthly budget was exceeded yet savings weren't utilized to meet the deficit.
  • Subpoena appropriate records: Those financial documents that only one side has direct access to, such as employment records and benefit statements or private account records, must be turned over when subpoenaed.
  • Insist on a deposition: Should one have evidence that an ex-spouse is hiding assets, he or she should consider having a deposition in which to question his or her ex specifically about such evidence. Because the ex is under oath, he or she could face criminal penalties for lying about specified holdings.

For more information on discovering an ex's hidden assets, please visit our Family Law page. 

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