Combining Hidden Asset Research and Computer Forensics Makes for Informed Divorce DecisionsI don’t usually keep track of celebrity lives, but I read the news about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes getting divorced. Apparently he had no idea – or at least that what the news reported.

After dealing with many divorce situations as a private investigator, I can say that that is not all that uncommon, no matter what everyone thinks.

Often one party has made the decision and plans for quite some time before actually informing their spouse of their intentions. And that is why we find so many times one side is hiding money in divorce and the other side has absolutely no idea. Even if there is a marriage separation, hidden assets is a topic that comes to the surface.

We had one case where the husband was hiding assets from his wife. In the beginning, she was just suspicious. It was more a feeling than anything she could point to definitively. After our investigation, she knew for a fact that her husband had schemed to conceal his actual worth.

Since they were still co-habitating and she had access to his computer, she was within her legal rights to bring the machine to us for a forensic analysis. She had no idea we would find inheritance money. His mother had died and left him money that she knew nothing about. He had financial records on the computer including tax returns that showed what he was hiding.

The thing that many people don’t realize is that the “HIDE” command on a computer simply tells the software to not show the document on the screen. It does not mean the documents are tucked away in some corner that is inaccessible to someone other than the document owner or creator. Even when files are “deleted” from a computer, they are actually still stored in the deep recesses of a hard drive.

Combining hidden asset research and computer forensic analysis often paints a picture that is painful for some. But by getting the information out into the light of day, each party can make decisions that are informed and in their best interest.

-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations