“My spouse has been staying out late and receiving text messages at odd times of the
night. I’m concerned that he is planning for a divorce and maybe attempting to leave me without anything.” If you’ve ever had a thought like this, you may be the target of a hidden assets scheme.
This is a major concern of our clients; to be left without anything while your spouse has all of the property and assets in an off-the-books status. Unfortunately many dishonest spouses plan a “structured divorce” many years in advance through hidden assets. They will begin a new life, perhaps after their kids have left the house, comfortable from the assets accumulated during the years of marriage, leaving the other spouse with the bare minimum to survive. Are you in a financially strong position to survive if your spouse decides to methodically siphon all the joint bank accounts? Would you have to start all over if your spouse unknowingly sold off or otherwise liquidated marital assets to minimize your share? Would you even know what hidden assets to look for on a financial disclosure form? Departing spouses are looking out for themselves, and it’s especially easy for them when they’ve primarily handled the finances. They know about the asset disclosures they will be required to complete for any divorce proceeding, and during their divorce structuring, you might be surprised the lengths they would go to for their own advantage.
In order to conceal these hidden assets, the spouse may open secret bank accounts, own residential or commercial buildings, purchase paintings, gold coins, or artwork just to name a few.
A comprehensive hidden asset search can make a big difference in your settlement. Hiring a professional with Forensic Accounting and Private Investigation skills gives you the best chance to understand your spouse’s financial strategy: he knows and understands how to review bank statements, investment portfolios, financial statements, audit reports, unearth land deeds, identify estate planning strategies, trace bank account numbers. Locating assets hidden can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Private Investigator (P.I.) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) are a few valuable certifications that can combine to reveal the truth about your marital assets to achieve a fair division.
If you think you are about to become a victim of this predicament, please call us and we will confidentially help you under these difficult circumstances.
Michael R. Hathaway, CFE, CAMS, PI
Director of Investigations
Certified Fraud & Forensic Investigations