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How to reveal your spouse's hidden wealth in divorce

We All Need A Champion

Every spouse is worried about assets during a divorce, but if your spouse is wealthy, the battle for assets could become tricky. If your spouse was manipulative about money during your marriage or suddenly becomes aloof after divorce is apparent, it is imperative that you take action to protect your right to an equitable division of assets.

Uncovering assets isn't easy, but if you and your attorney take the initiative, you can gain access to the right financial information. A recent story in the New York Times revealed how an estranged wife and her attorney uncovered her husband's net worth of $400 million. The story is both exceptional and complex, but it reveals a few key techniques on how to show hidden wealth.

Take pictures, rely on digital documents

With so much reliance on technology and computers, paper copies of financial documents may be hard to find, especially if your spouse is the primary manager of business and financial affairs of your household.

A single document may never reveal the "smoking gun" of your spouse's wealth or tax planning strategy, but piecing together small bits of information can help to paint a bigger picture of ownership and intent.

Simple tactics like taking pictures and making digital copies of e-mails and documents for yourself can build a case for further investigation of your spouse's financial affairs.

File actions against your spouse

Legal action can be taken to prevent your spouse from moving or spending money during a divorce. Your attorney can file motions with a judge to put a pause on your spouse's financial activity so you can get a better look.

By filing legal action, an attorney can help you take advantage of your rights as a spouse and, perhaps, as a co-owner or manager of your spouse's business affairs.

Go after financial companies

Banks and other financial companies may tacitly or unknowingly give your spouse the tools to hide wealth. If their accommodations allow your spouse to commit illegal, contemptuous or unfair acts, the threat of legal action against the company may be enough to force their hand in turning over financial documents.

Careful planning and case-building need to be done before taking action against a company, but its potential represents an escalation of tactics you and your attorney can use.

Don't take your spouse's word for it

Putting a magnifying glass to a large financial portfolio can take time and resources, but the effort is worth it if it means a more equitable divorce settlement and a better life for you after marriage.

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