Do you know of all your spouse’s assets? Are you certain of all companies they may be involved with, bank accounts they may have opened, properties they may own and any shares or bonds they may have?
Most people would answer “yes”; however, you would be surprised at how many people don’t know the true financial position of their spouses. Of course, it can come as a shock to find out you don’t know the whole story until sometime after you’ve finalised your property settlement!
If you are currently going through a property settlement, you may want to consider obtaining a hidden asset search to uncover any secret bank accounts, properties or business activities your spouse may be involved in.
What is a Hidden Asset Search?
A hidden asset search involves us, as family lawyer, using the services of a private investigator who can undertake certain searches to help uncover the true status of a spouse’s assets.
There are three main assets searches that can be performed: a Brokerage Account Search a Bank Account Search, and a Public Assistance Search. The Brokerage Account Search is used to locate any stocks, bonds or securities that may be owned; a Bank Account Search can locate all bank accounts the person may have in their name and which bank they are with, and a Public Assistance Search can identify any payments or benefits the person may be receiving from government departments such as Centrelink or Family Assist.
We don’t have many assets, would this be worth it?
These searches aren’t only used to uncover where your multimillionaire spouse has hid their fortune. Your spouse may be stating, for example, that they aren’t receiving any government assistance to increase their percentage in the property settlement. Or, you may know that your spouse’s business has been making a profit, but concerned as to why the business account is empty. These searches can make sure that all the asset information they are disclosing is correct.
If you feel that the list of assets your spouse is disclosing is not accurate then call our family lawyer at Quinn & Scattini on 07 3222 8222. We can review your situation and advice as to the type of searches that can be performed and the best way for you to be proceeding.
Don’t leave it until after your property settlement is finalised to start digging.