Concealing assets is a common tactic used by both husbands and wives in divorce. The spouse typically feels entitled to one or more assets and fears the terms of the dissolution will cause him, or her to lose the assets. For this reason, it is not unusual to facilitate the expertise of an asset tracing service.
In a divorce situation, asset tracing services might be necessary for a number of reason. Two of the most prominent reasons are to find assets hidden by a husband or wife in order to establish property as communal while the other reason is to find and declare assets as being separate.
It is important to note that asset tracing is a legal process; it is not a remedy. In other words, asset tracing is done to identify the property and categorize it, but not how property will or will not be divided into the terms of the divorce.
Finding Hidden Assets
A common misconception in our current culture is that hiding assets is something only wealthy people do during or prior to a divorce. However, it is not uncommon for people of modest means to have a secret rainy day account. There are many ways to discover such assets, which include, but are not limited to: bank statements, cancelled checks, tax returns, receipts, and other tell tale signs.
The discovery of assets hidden by one spouse from another can mean the difference between financial stability and a long, hard struggle which lasts well into the future and can negatively impact a child or children. Either husband or wife can hide assets accumulated over the course of the marriage as a result of a high paying position or a thriving business venture. It is our goal at the Woodfill Law Firm to actively uncover any hidden assets to ensure our clients are given the opportunity to be awarded a just share of property by the court.
The characterization of property during the course of a divorce is vital in the state of Texas; only community property is divisible by the court. In practically every circumstance, separate property is off limits, so a husband or wife hiding assets would create a circumstance of inequitable division by the court.
Proving Separate Property
It is a difficult and time consuming process to prove separate property because it is often commingled after many years of marriage. The court must be provided with “clear and convincing evidence” that property is truly separate rather than communal. We are experienced in these matters and can trace assets back to their origins to establish proper characterization.