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Is my spouse disclosing all the assets?

Spouses sometimes conceal assets during a divorce, depriving their soon-to-be exes of significant sums of money and other resources.

One way to ferret out these discrepancies is by using a forensic accountant. But those professional services do not come cheap, and there is another way. A diligent family law attorney can use the discovery process to seek out evidence of hidden assets. Read on for some more tips:

-- Request paycheck stubs, credit card statements, federal tax returns, cancelled checks, bank statements, brokerage account statements and other financial documents

-- Compare 1099s with tax returns to verify interest is reported and dividends are disclosed.

-- Compare paycheck stubs, etc., with bank statements and proof of income. Follow money trails; large discrepancies between net income and financial deposits can signal secret accounts exist.

-- Search public records databases for your soon-to-be ex's name. You are looking for undisclosed real estate or vehicle purchases.

-- Compare cancelled checks and bank statements with bills for mortgage payments, credit cards, monthly expenses. If more is paid out than taken in, all income streams may not have been revealed.

-- Review wire transfers, cancelled checks and credit card statements for large or expensive undisclosed purchases.

-- Subpoena your husband's or wife's employer regarding benefits like pensions, stock options, deferred compensation, or retirement plans.

-- Go over financial statements looking for transfers to other accounts, entities and individuals. Subpoena backup documentation to verify account ownership.

-- Take your spouse's deposition. Testifying under oath has a chilling effect on people's willingness to lie.

These are only the tip of the iceberg; there are many more tricks your family law attorney can use to reveal attempts at hiding assets.

Source: Huffington Post, "Discovering Hidden Assets: What Your Spouse Hasn’t Disclosed During Your Divorce," Bonnie Sockel Stone, accessed March 30, 2016

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