Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

5005 Riverway Drive, Suite 450 • Houston, Texas 77056

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Accountants, Private Investigators Help Find Hidden Assets

Perhaps you and your spouse are divorcing, and you suspect that he or she is hiding assets. Your spouse may have offshore bank accounts or could have been engaged in one of the practices we discussed on Wednesday like undervaluing antiques or jewelry or engaging in fraudulent financial transactions in order to hide money. How can you uncover these activities? What are the repercussions for hiding assets?

Divorce attorneys have a number of legal tools at their disposal with which they work with you to uncover hidden assets during divorce. Attorneys can work with forensic accountants who are experts at unraveling complex financial transactions in order to follow the money. Together, you can sort through tax returns, receipts and bank and credit card statements to determine the true motives of your spouse’s actions. You can also hire your own appraiser or team of appraisers to be sure that your spouse’s collectibles like artwork receive a fair and accurate appraisal. Finally, private investigators also often make up the team that your attorney and you will use to determine whether your spouse is hiding assets.

The general repercussion for hiding assets at divorce is an extremely favorable ruling for the innocent side. In some states (California is one), the law requires that 100 percent of the hidden asset go to the victim spouse. Hence, for example, the California case where a woman won the lottery a month before her divorce. A year later, her ex-husband found out that she had won and returned to court to ask for the entire winnings, a request that the court granted. While not all states award 100 percent of the hidden asset to the victim spouse, victims can generally expect a more favorable ruling than a split down the middle.

Did your divorce case involve a thorough analysis of your spouse’s assets? How did you uncover hidden assets?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys

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