When Texas couples decide to divorce, they should share a goal of dividing assets fairly. However, one spouse may have suspicions that his or her partner is hiding assets.
Your partner may conceal assets by denying their existence, transferring property to others, falsely claiming a loss or creating sham debt. Forbes provides tips to help you determine whether your spouse is concealing property.
Check tax documents for valuable information
Tax returns from prior years may provide clues to hidden property. Many schedules attached to your returns may offer a treasure trove of information:
- You may find secret assets indirectly disclosed in Schedule A, which shows itemized deductions.
- You may uncover information about hidden investments by reviewing Schedules B and D. Schedule B lists accounts, stocks and other assets that earn interest or produce dividends. Schedule D lists real estate, stocks and bonds that have generated capital gains and losses.
- Schedules C and E may direct you to information about businesses your spouse may own. Schedule C reflects business profits and losses and may have an asset depreciation schedule. Schedule E lists supplemental income and losses from rental properties or business entities.
Put together an inventory
Check for safe deposit boxes. Look around your home for safes, filing cabinets or even shoeboxes in closets. Do you own your home? Gather your mortgage documents. These are helpful because they include extensive financial disclosures.
Inventory all real estate, accounts, securities and other property disclosed by your due diligence, and determine ownership of all assets. Are they owned separately or as community property? After you complete your inventory and resolve ownership questions, value all assets to ensure a fair settlement.