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How is my divorce affected if I think my spouse is hiding assets?

| Oct 21, 2020 | Divorce |

Texas law provides you with a legal right to ownership of half of the property and assets acquired during your marriage. If you suspect your soon-to-be ex-spouse has hidden assets, the discovery process during a divorce may uncover them. 

Some clues may alert you to the possibility of hidden assets. As reported by CNBC, an income tax return could reveal money or a bank account that a spouse may try to divert from your shared marital community. 

What assets might I find on an income tax return?

Unless you and your spouse actively invest together, you may not have an opportunity to review the earnings from stocks and dividends. The capital gains, dividends and interest earned from securities, however, belong to both spouses when purchased while married. 

A return filed on a 1040 tax form may include a Schedule D that discloses capital gains and losses for the past year. Schedule B provides a statement of dividend and interest earned during the prior year, and you may have a right to half of it. If your spouse deposited money in an offshore account, he or she may need to disclose the amount to the IRS on Form 8938. 

What ownership rights do I have if assets are offshore?

If your spouse opened an account before your marriage, it generally classifies as his or her own separate property. According to the State Bar of Texas, a divorce court does not divide separate property. This includes gifts and an inheritance. 

To prove that an offshore account holds money belonging to the marital community, you may need to trace its origin. Assets or property purchased with income earned while married may divide evenly, or 50-50, between two spouses.