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Hidden assets can be found by investigating

When couples in the Fort Worth, Texas, and Tarrant, Texas, areas get engaged, they tend to be very excited about enjoying married life together. For better and for worse, this often means that they are not focused on coming to practical understandings together about their finances. However, when the couple gets a divorce, finances wind up being front and center.

Views of finances, at the time of a divorce, are colored by the antipathy that the husband and wife feel for each other. That antipathy, reflective of deep distrust, can lead one spouse to presume that the other spouse is trying to defraud him or her financially. Statistically speaking, that only happens in a small percentage of divorce cases. If your spouse has earned modestly throughout the marriage, it is unlikely that they have a million dollars in a Cayman Islands account or big boxes of cash buried in the backyard.

Still, if you have reason to believe that your spouse is hiding money that you want to get some or all of in a divorce, you can investigate. After all, getting half of $50,000 is much different from getting half of $500,000. Your spouse may have gotten friends and relatives to help with concealing money by telling them that you were emptying bank accounts and racking up debts.

A forensic specialist can track the paper trail of money throughout the history of the marriage and determine if it looks like some money is unaccounted for. They do that by examining tax returns, credit card statements, bank statements, business ledgers, retirement accounts and appraisals of properties owned. They will also look at stock options, expense accounts, bonuses and deferred compensation plans that can affect the divorce settlement.

When all that is done, they will give you a report. You can then use that report, if the court allows it, to pursue a higher divorce settlement.

Source: HuffPost, "Financial Fraud and Divorce," Peggy L. Tracy, accessed Jan. 24, 2018

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