Quite often in a divorce proceeding, one spouse may suspect the other of hiding assets. Also common, one spouse is self-employed and the wife (in the majority of cases) has limited knowledge of income and investments. Hiring a private investigator is very often the key to insuring yourself a fair settlement. A private investigator will utilize a variety of investigative techniques to locate hidden accounts and find hidden assets. There are many scenarios that can play out, including:
- One spouse may be in collusion with an employer or business partner to delay or hide bonuses, raises or stock options until divorce proceedings are complete.
- Financial statements and tax returns seem to need more study.
- Investigating the possibility of divorce assets being hidden by dumping money in a friend or relative’s account or a savings or college account for a custodial child.
- Hidden money is sometimes found in the ‘repayment’ of a phony debt to a friend pretending to be a business associate or service provider.
- Salary paid to nonexistent employees with fraudulent social security numbers which will be immediately voided when the divorce is over and could have been unknown assets forever.
- Payment for services that were never rendered, hidden by writing checks to friends of friends and deposited into hidden bank accounts, in an effort to hide true activity.
- Delays in signing long-term contracts, especially if additional income is expected.
- Making investments in hard-to-trace places, such as municipal bonds, since no interest is reported on tax returns. Dividends, interest, profits and gains can be diverted to an overseas account or other offshore accounts.
Any of these possibilities sounds difficult and frustrating, especially when you are coping with other divorce issues, such as helping minor children transition from one home to another, or trying to work through emotional hurts surrounding the death of the marriage.
The stress of divorce is incredible. And when people are stressed, their thinking may be impaired. Their ability to think things through may also be affected. A private investigator does the digging through all the nasty stuff you might not want to do anyway.
Suspecting a spouse of hiding money in divorce is difficult and emotional. An asset search investigator is objective and will follow the threads through a personal asset search and into a business asset search if the path expands. With the search for assets in the hands of professionals, you can deal with all the other aspects of your situation.
When you think about your financial security following divorce, understand that without the expertise of , you might not leave that part of your life feeling that you were treated fairly.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations