How can I Prove my Ex is Hiding Assets in Divorce?

Man With Money Photo
Looking for hidden assets in divorce

Hiding assets during a divorce case is illegal. Despite this – and the fact that there can be serious repercussions for concealing assets in divorce, some people still try to do it (out of bitterness, bravado, etc.).

When this may be a factor complicating your divorce case, there can be a number of ways to investigate and/or prove that marital assets have been concealed. Here’s where and how to start looking…

  • Financial documents or records – Paperwork like bank statements, tax records, titles/deeds, etc. can reveal when cash or other major property has been concealed in a divorce case. Here are some red flags to keep your eyes peeled for when examining these documents:
    • Big transfers of funds out of mutual accounts (on bank statements)
    • Underreporting income to the IRS
    • Overpaying the IRS taxes (with the expectation that the overpayment will be refunded later – i.e., after the divorce has been finalized)
    • Missing ownership documents for major marital property like homes or real estate, motor vehicles, etc.
  • Safe deposit boxes – These can be another way for someone to try to hide assets during divorce, with cash, ownership documents or other financial paperwork being kept in these boxes. If you are unsure about whether an ex has a safety deposit box (where marital assets may be concealed), take a careful look at bank statements (as well as mail coming to your home) to see if there are any fees or bills for renting a safety deposit box. If so – and if you were never aware that your ex had been keeping a safety deposit box, it may be time to do some further investigation.
  • “Gifts” or “loans” – Another common way that some people can try to hide assets in divorce is by ‘giving’ or ‘loaning’ money (or other marital property) to another party (with the plan to reclaim the gift or loan after the divorce has been finalized). So, if an ex has suddenly become very generous with gifts or taken to lending marital property to friends or relatives, again, it may be time to do some more digging to find out if these new habits are really a cover for concealed assets.
  • Fake debts – When an ex suddenly has racked up a lot of “debt” or even developed a new gambling habit, this can be another attempt to cover the concealment of assets in divorce.
  • Deferred income – In some cases, people may try to get an employer to hold back bonuses, commissions, promotions or other income in an attempt to avoid having an ex lay claim to that income (or to try to limit their future support payment obligations).
Contact Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Karen A. Schoenau

When you need effective representation in divorce, contact Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Karen Schoenau. For nearly three decades, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people protect their interest – and obtain the best possible outcomes – from divorce and other sensitive family legal matters (like custody disputes, paternity issues, etc.).

Call 480-209-1918 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau and get honest answers about your best options for moving forward with divorce.

From offices based in Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including in Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.

Client Reviews
Karen is highly respected in the legal community. She is effective and thorough. Karen just keeps going regardless of the odds.
Karen was extremely helpful setting up my petition for conciliation. She is by far the most knowledgeable attorney regarding the necessary paperwork, how to file the petition and where it has to be submitted. She listened intently when I was describing my situation and intentions. She was very responsive to my questions and request. She is trustworthy and diligent . I would recommend her to anyone having marital issues. Mark
Very high customer/client considerate. We found Karen when we were forced to leave another Phoenix lawyer due to his bad advice and lack of interest to help us. We were in Phoenix for six days from Michigan with nothing happening but a high wasted expense. Karen and her firm took us in and solved our issue with the courts etc. in two and a half days. Karen’s professionalism with us was very cost effective/productive. If we would have found her first, we would have saved thousands of dollars. Her interest for us was very high. She returned every call. She knew every answer to our questions. She did this for us with a death in her family. She left for a funeral and made sure we were treated with the same professionalism from her firm to finish up. I recommend Karen and her firm with very high satisfaction. Our case is custody with one parent in prison. We will return to Phoenix someday with interests for the child and his parent, if needed. Karen will be our top choice. Nolan
Karen and Bonita are wonderful!! I know that the word "wonderful" is used a lot, but the team they make and the work they did for me can only be described as WONDERFUL!! Yes there where ups and downs in my case, but that is the system and Karen along with Bonita guided and taught me as "WE" went through it together. Karen’s easy going manner and her knowledge really helped me with the emotional part of my divorce. I used the team of Karen and Bonita both times I needed to go to court with my ex and had results that were best for my little girl. Some times I did not get what I wanted, but it was what my daughter needed. Looking back at my case, I made the right choice and would do it again in a heart beat!! Jim
Karen was extremely supportive during a very trying time in our lives. She helped me to put things in perspective and think positive when I was overwhelmed. She is very knowledgeable about the laws pertaining to grandparents rights and the rights of the parents and knew how to provide the appropriate laws pertaining to the situation we were in. I am so grateful for her expertise and guidance. She proved to be very aggressive when she needed to be but was also supportive to my and my children. I would recommend her to anyone in a similar situation. Deanna