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Texas divorce can be complicated by hidden assets

Friday, September 22, 2017

It is an unfortunate reality that not every divorce can be settled cleanly and with no "hard feelings". In some cases, a Texas divorce can be complicated by one or both spouses being less than honest in their asset reports. However, even if a financial analyst or forensic accountant is not fiscally feasible, there are other ways to determine the extent to which assets were hidden, which will allow further action to be taken in a legal setting.

Reviewing tax returns, specifically 1099s, can go a long way towards exposing discrepancies between reported assets and interest. A public records search can turn up property a spouse may not have admitted to owning. Pay stubs and other backup documentation can also shed light on undeclared income, particularly cancelled checks and bill payments.

In more dire cases, a subpoena can be issued to an employer to request information about additional benefits, retirement plans, stock options and other non-tangible assets that should have been included in the marriage assets. Comparing the monthly family expenses to income ratio can also expose discrepancies -- if more was spent than was allegedly earned, this can point to a hidden source of income. Finally, the option is available to depose a spouse, who will face harsh penalties if found to be lying under oath.

Texas divorce can be a difficult process, and unfortunately it is human nature for certain people to make that process more difficult by being dishonest. However, support is available to those who feel they have not received what they feel they are owed in terms of equitable distribution of married assets. Individuals are encouraged to thoroughly research their rights and responsibilities in a divorce situation prior to filing paperwork.

Source: The Huffington Post, Discovering Hidden Assets: What Your Spouse Hasn't Disclosed During Your Divorce, Bonnie Sockel-Stone, Oct. 30, 2013

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