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Ways to discover hidden assets in a high net worth divorce

A high net worth divorce is not a rare event in New York. The most interesting aspect of any high asset divorce is the sheer quantity of assets involved, which is equitably divided between the divorcing spouses upon completion of the process of separation. However, sometimes it can be discovered by one spouse that the other party to the divorce has failed to fully disclose all assets during the legal process. In such situations, it is a relevant option to hire a professional to assist in conclusively proving that there are assets that were undisclosed by one spouse before the eyes of law.

It can be important to request tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, cancelled checks, credit card statements, brokerage account details and other financial statements. These documents, when inspected carefully, can uncover information which was previously hidden.

In such cases, tax returns can be reviewed to ensure all interests received from bank accounts and all dividends gained from brokerage accounts have been fully disclosed. Also, public records can be searched to find out if the spouse has disclosed ownership of real estate properties or other investments.

Likewise, undisclosed bank accounts can be traced through pay stubs. Also, purchase of jewelry, antiques and artwork can be traced through a review of credit card statements, wire transfers and cancelled checks. A divorce can be a stressful event. Nonetheless, it must be ensured by every individual, especially by those going through a high net worth divorce, that all assets are disclosed by the other spouse to avoid the chance of a biased property division decision.

Source: Huffington Post, "Discovering Hidden Assets: What Your Spouse Hasn't Disclosed During Your Divorce," Bonnie Sockel-Stone, Oct. 10, 2013

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