Hiding Assets in Divorce and Asset Tracing
During a divorce, asset tracing services may be needed for a variety of reasons. Two of the most common are to find hidden assets from the wife or husband hiding assets and to prove that certain property belonging to one spouse is a spouse’s separate property as distinguished from community property.
Wife or Husband Hiding Assets?
An increasingly vital part of a sophisticated family law practice is the ability to trace assets that may have been hidden by a spouse prior to a divorce. Those in the upper income brackets tend to have more resources to help them hide assets creating challenges to find them. This could be the wife or husband hiding assets. However, contrary to popular opinion, hiding assets isn’t just for the wealthy, anyone can have a rainy day account that is not mentioned in the divorce proceedings. Today, almost any asset can be found, no matter how creatively it has been hidden. Bank statements, canceled checks and tax returns can all contain clues to the location of hidden assets.
Finding hidden assets may mean the difference between financial stability and a lifetime of struggle for you and your children. An example of someone that could hide assets: The wife or husband hiding assets could be a high net worth executive, or had a business dealing during the marriage that made a lot of money. The other spouse may not be employed choosing to stay home with the children, but may be entitled to some of the assets. If you suspect that your spouse has hidden assets that he or she has not disclosed, KoonsFuller Family Law attorneys can help uncover them and bring them into the pool of assets to be divided.
Properly characterizing property during a divorce proceeding is extremely important because under Texas law a court can only divide community property. In almost all circumstances, separate property is not divisible by the court in a divorce. So, the wife or husband hiding assets cannot hide community property as it does need to be part of the pool to be divided.
Proving that an asset is separate property after many years of marriage and commingled accounts can be difficult. The party who is claiming that property is separate property has the burden to prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that property is separate property rather than community property. At KoonsFuller, we are experts at tracing assets back to their roots to determine their proper characterization.
If you have any questions about asset tracing or you fear your wife or husband is hiding assets, contact one of attorneys to find out more about your options. We have offices in Dallas, Plano, Southlake, Denton and Houston