If you are going through a divorce in Florida, you are going through this process in a state that follows equitable distribution of property and assets. What this means for you is that the court will be deciding what a fair division of assets and property is – this does not mean it will be equal.
The assets the court will allocate to you or your former partner are marital assets. To have a clear understanding of what assets are at play, you and your spouse should disclose all assets and property. However, that is not always the case.
If there are hidden assets, you may not get your fair share during the divorce process, but a lawyer and tax expert can help you uncover anything your partner may have tried to keep hidden.
Where to look for hidden assets
Some of the most common ways a person hides assets include:
- Relocating the asset to another party
- Denying it exists
- Making false debt
- Arguing the asset was misplaced
A paper trail will generally accompany the cover-up or existence of most assets. But, if your spouse was meticulous in covering their tracks, it can be hard to find that paper trail, even with the help of an attorney.
Another way of searching for hidden assets is by looking through tax returns. With the assistance of a tax adviser or lawyer, these records can raise red flags through some reported items and discrepancies in those items each year.
The different areas of a tax return can help reveal the possible existence of hidden assets. Even though combing through these records can be difficult, any red flags raised before the divorce proceedings begin will help your lawyer know what detailed questions to ask to help protect your interests.
Do not miss out on your fair share
You can uncover some assets on your own by finding safes or safety deposit boxes. However, having experts help you comb over records and documents can help you ensure all assets are taken into account. Knowing all assets at play before you start the divorce process can help make sure nothing is missed when the court starts dividing things up.