Some divorces are friendly, while many others are hostile. Spouses in a hostile divorce should be more aware of many things. It is not uncommon for one spouse with greater financial resources to hide his assets, which would reduce the value of the marital assets that are subject to division. Nothing is unlawful about transferring assets from one person to another, such as conveying a house to a buyer, purchasing stocks from a trader, or moving cash from a checking account to an investment account. However, if an asset transfer is conducted without the owner’s relinquishing his ownership or control, but rather, for the purpose of placing it in the hands of others to avoid its discovery with the anticipation of a divorce, debt collection or other legal proceedings, it is an unlawful transfer.

Common types of assets that can be hidden or unlawfully transferred are cash, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, travelers’ checks, and other investment accounts such as variable annuities. Cash may also be converted into personal property, such as art, jewelry, collectibles, automobiles, boats, antiques. In rare circumstances, cash is used to purchase real property.

So what are the key red flags to watch out for when you suspect that your spouse is planning on or has already concealed his assets? If your spouse starts to act in an evasive manner or avoids answering your inquiries about family finances, or suddenly changes bank account passwords or completely denies your access to shared accounts, it’s time to consult with an attorney. Sometimes, your spouse may be forthcoming when an asset changes hands. When you discover its occurrence and confront him, but he or she may use a lot of seemingly logical excuses to ward off your suspicion. One or more of the following discoveries should get your attention: asset transferred to people very close to them, e.g. he or she places a valuable jewelry or investment certificate into the safety box in the name of their sister; asset sold to others without receiving equivalent value, e.g. he or she sells his brand new Lexus car to someone for only five thousand dollars; his or her strong effort to control the asset even after it changes hands, e.g. he or she transfers a large sum of money into the children’s trust accounts, yet endeavors to retain the control.

What should you do under the circumstances? Before you jump to conclusions, contact a professional asset search company to locate your spouse’s allegedly hidden assets. You can perform some preliminary work to verify your suspicion and you can turn to the following sources to gather information: (a) significant changes in the property value on tax returns for the previous three to five years, (b) irregularities in your spouse’s deposits and withdrawals in his checking and savings account, (c) sudden shift in certain life style which either becomes unreasonably lavish or ridiculously frugal, existence of any deferred salary, bonus or commissions. But overall, an asset search should be conducted.

In addition, your asset search company should be quick, easy and affordable to use. Asset Search Plus, for example, can conduct a nationwide asset search for $185.00 per subject and the search report is forwarded to you within one (1) to three (3) days.

Don’t risk your future financial stability and contact us today at 1(800)290-1012 or at or

Author's Bio: 

Edward L. Amaral, Jr., Esq. is the President of an asset search locate firm called Asset Searches Plus, Inc. (ASP). ASP assists lawyers, businesses, investigative agencies and collection organizations in satisfying their due diligence in the collection of judgments by locating the assets and liabilities of individuals and corporations.

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