Here’s a scenario for you: You have good reason to suspect that your husband has bought an expensive condo for his girlfriend. What can you do?
Here’s what you do: Subpoena everything. Then,
1) If you you find out for sure he did this, you may ask that these gifts be considered marital property and have the court give you a share of the proceeds used to purchase said property.
2)As for other assets which he might be hiding, look at his job situation. Is he due a pay raise, or bonus that he usually gets but mysteriously did not get this year? Sure there is an economic crunch, but could it also be that he asked his employment to hold the bonus till the divorce is settled?
3) Look at tax returns going back at least five years. Has there been sudden change in taxable income? What about other items on the return? Do a line by line examination of the tax return to see whether your husband may have transferred any assets, or is under-reporting income from a business, or from real estate transactions.
4)Hopefully you have been on top of bank statements long before you begin the divorce process. Are there huge withdrawals and transfers? Where did the money go? Find out by asking your spouse or asking the court to take notice of the transaction as a presumption that it was diverted for purposes of hiding assets. YOu are entitled to get all copies of cancelled checks and bank statements during the DISCOVERY PERIOD of the divorce.
5)Use the internet. www.acris.com is a good resource to find out about who owns real estate. The court house is also a good place since real estate purchases must be “recorded” in New York State.
6)If all else fails, get a private investigator (if you can afford it) and
hire a forensics expert to evaluate documents and computer records.