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I Think My Ex Is Hiding Assets: What Can I Do?

What you can do depends on where you are in the divorce process and whether you complete your divorce through mediation or litigation. During a divorce, your lawyer can use subpoenas to compel your ex to produce complete financial records. If he or she will not, the divorce court can hold him or her in contempt, which can result in anything from fines to imprisonment and invariably results in judges angry at the person who refused to play by the rules.

Especially in high-net-value cases, there are entire companies dedicated to forensic divorce accounting to help you find and keep track of all of your spouse’s assets. Generally, people only rarely get away with hiding significant assets during a divorce — hopefully, your ex will not be so foolish as to try.

The situation gets a bit more complicated if you are pursuing mediation because all financial disclosure is voluntary. What can you do?

  • If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets, start by asking to see all the financial records and tax returns for the past few years.
  • If you do not receive complete records, or if your spouse fails to produce any records at all, that is a very good sign that he or she may be trying to hide assets.
  • Additionally, exes trying to hide assets often overpay bills and taxes in the hope that the refunds will come to them alone after the divorce — if your spouse starts doing this, it may be another good sign that he or she is hiding assets.

Working with a seasoned family and divorce lawyer can help you both identify and deal with hidden assets. If you discover hidden assets after a court has entered a final divorce decree, you may petition the court to set aside the decree and draft a new one, this time including the formerly hidden assets.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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