If you are headed for divorce, your financial well-being will be of utmost importance as you enter a new chapter in your life. You want to be sure that all your shared assets are front and center with nothing hidden away.
Your spouse may have some bad habits, such as telling the occasional lie, that make you wonder if there are assets you might not know about. Perhaps it is time for some due diligence before meeting with your attorney.
Search the house
Start by searching the house for clues of “extra” assets your spouse may be keeping from you. Look through closets, dresser drawers, filing cabinets, desks, even articles stored in the garage. Discoveries might include bank statements from secret accounts, stock certificates, a key to another safe deposit box or the deed to a property you never knew about.
Check public records online. Enter the name of your spouse and see what comes up. There could be information about other businesses or business interests, even aliases your spouse might be using. Does your spouse have one or more social media accounts? It is astonishing how often people boast about things such as businesses they own or trips they take that their spouses do not know about.
Check bank and credit card records
Keep an eye on the bank and credit card statements that come to your house. Check for unusual transfers of funds or oddball payments. Look at any ATM receipt that surfaces, and check the last four digits on the bank account number. Is it a match for your bank or is it a number you have not seen before?
Share your information
Property division in a divorce extends to real estate, bank accounts, investments, retirement assets, valuable possessions and much more. Share any information you come across with your attorney, whose job is to safeguard your interests and to ensure the proper identification and distribution of all marital assets.