People may act in questionable, unethical or even illegal ways in the weeks leading up to a divorce and immediately after beginning a divorce. Many times, verbal arguments happen. Other negative situations can include refusing to pay child support, refusing your spouse visitation and shared custody rights, and even the attempt to hide or squander marital assets.
Texas is a community property state that tries to find a fair and reasonable way to split assets. Generally, unless there is an existing prenuptial agreement on the books, most assets acquired during the marriage will get split between spouses. Knowing that assets are subject to division can prompt your spouse to do things like needlessly spend money or even try to hide assets.
The courts take a dim view of squandering assets
Financial records can usually find proof that your spouse intentionally wasted funds or even gave assets to friends and family members to avoid splitting these assets with you. Funds spent on gambling, personal vacations or conducting an affair may also be considered squandered. You may stress when you realize what your spouse is doing, but the courts have seen it all before.
Your financial records can help prove that your spouse was trying to use up assets to avoid sharing them. The courts can then reflect that in the eventual division of assets. These situations are often straightforward, unless your spouse has been planning for the divorce for some time.
When you need a forensic accountant
If, when going over your financial records and assets, you realize there is a substantial amount of assets unaccounted for, you may need help. People have been known to do things like open secret bank accounts or investment accounts in other countries to avoid disclosure and sharing. Others may make a number of smaller cash withdrawals, either directly from the bank or as part of a larger transaction like buying groceries.
A forensic accountant can help determine where every cent of income has gone during your marriage. These highly-educated professionals are your best hope of tracking down secret accounts and creating sufficient evidence to prove that your spouse was stockpiling cash or other assets in preparation for the divorce.
The courts can only divide the assets you can locate
Texas' courts will do their best to ensure a fair and equitable division of assets. The real issue here is that the courts can only divide assets people report to them. In order to ensure that your reported assets are accurate, a forensic accountant can go back through your records for months or even years.
Locating hidden accounts and determining how assets and income were used can help ensure that you receive a fair portion of marital assets. The expense involved in hiring a forensic accountant can very easily end up offset by the hidden assets located during the financial review process.