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What to do if you suspect a spouse has hidden money

Getting a divorce is one of the most emotionally tumultuous and financially risky live events a person can endure. USA Today recently ran an article detailing how people going through a divorce can increase their chances of coming out on the other side okay. Some of these tips include creating a post-divorce budget and dealing with debts promptly. 

However, another step you should take to increase your odds of financial success in a divorce is to ensure your spouse has not hidden any money. You may think you can trust your husband or wife, but you never know if he or she has tucked money away for a rainy day. If you have any suspicions, then you should do the following to see whether any hidden assets truly exist. 

Study all financial accounts

The first place you should check for hidden assets is in the financial accounts you and your spouse share. This includes your savings, checking and retirement accounts. You should check for anything that seems out of the ordinary. Keep an eye out for large or unusual transfers. It is possible that your spouse has tried to convert cash without you knowing. 

Utilize the discovery process

During a divorce, your legal team will go through a discovery process. You and your legal advisors have the right to ask for anything pertinent to the case, such as financial documents and other information that could prove useful. This is your chance to find materials that would ordinarily be difficult to otherwise access. You may discover records and contracts detailing your spouse's transfer of money. 

Ask for court orders

Your spouse must disclose all property. If you suspect your spouse has not been fully truthful, you can ask the court to intervene. The court can issue an order requiring the spouse to provide certain documents or be more forthcoming with specific information. There are extreme consequences to violating a court order, so your spouse will not want to end up on the wrong side of one. 

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