Finding Hidden Assets in Divorce

Divorce can bring out the worst in people, and sadly, sometimes that means lying and deceitfulness. As part of this, some ex-spouses try to hide their assets during a divorce so they don’t have to share those assets or have them factored into the divorce proceedings.

A surprising 41 percent of adults admitted that when they combined finances with their spouse, they hid certain aspects of their finances. That means that there is a high probability that your spouse has some hidden assets lurking in the background that they are waiting to use until your divorce is finalized.

Because this is a common problem during divorce proceedings, there are a variety of ways you can work to locate these funds when undergoing a Virginia divorce.


If you know of a financial institution where your ex-spouse has an account that they have not disclosed to you, provide that information to your Virginia divorce attorney. Your attorney can then subpoena the bank for financial statements. An experienced divorce attorney knows and understands this process and the importance of tracking down total assets when reviewing divorce documents.

A forensic accountant can also follow deposits and withdrawals to get a better view of what’s in the account if you can’t subpoena the financial institution. This forensic accounting can paint a pretty clear picture of the financial assets available within that account.

Private investigator

It’s not uncommon for private investigators to get involved in divorces; however, they’re normally engaged to track and follow someone to better understand behavior. This is especially true in relationships where one of the spouses believes the other is cheating on them.

From a financial perspective though, a private investigator can find information on criminal records, utilities, credit, and title information. This way, if your ex-spouse is hiding any vehicles, boats or other large ticket items, you’ll know about it.

Google and public record searches

Online investigation can help you find out more information about your ex-spouse. This can be challenging to find at first, but the deeper you get into information, the more fruitful details you might find. On Google, you might be able to find information about your spouse’s employer and that spouse’s benefits.

Within a public records search, you can find any previously titled vehicles or real estate transactions. However, private investigators and other paid professionals can still generally find more than you can on your own for free.

Shared computer browsing history

Couples that have a shared computer can use browsing history to their advantage. For example, you might discover that your ex-spouse has been viewing a financial institution website regularly that you had no prior knowledge of.

Other websites that your spouse visits can also tell you important information about their intentions and possible hidden assets. Look closely at the browsing history for clues.

Social networking websites

Sometimes, people have different online personalities than they do in real life. A browse through your ex-spouse’s social networking websites could tell you new information you were unaware of. For example, if your ex-spouse is a business owner, there might be clues to business information and transactions you didn’t know about.

Read through comments from friends to get a better view of this person’s life. It can be a helpful exercise as you work to uncover hidden assets as part of your divorce proceedings.

Professional computer review

Professionals who review data that was once deleted from a computer can dig up some very interesting things. Files that the computer user thought were gone forever when they emptied the trash bin, are not actually gone forever. Instead, they become hidden for a great deal of time until the system finally overwrites the data with new data.

Because this process of overwriting the data takes so long, it seems as though a file is never really deleted. Files can show bank statements or financial transactions that you didn’t know about and that your ex-spouse was not disclosing. If you suspect that your ex-spouse’s financial records are not completely honest, this can be a good route for you to take.

Virginia divorce attorney

Your Virginia divorce attorney can talk you through some signs of asset hiding and help you review your options. While it certainly is possible to find these hidden assets, sometimes it isn’t worth the hurt and turmoil that can come from it.

At Gore & Kuperman, we know and understand the emotional and trying time that going through a divorce can be. Sometimes, extending that timeframe out longer to find assets isn’t what you prefer.

We’re here for you to do what’s best for you. Contact us to discuss your divorce needs and learn how we can help.