EP 41: 3 Ways to Discover if Your Spouse is Hiding Assets From You During A Divorce

Welcome to the forty-one episode of Divorce and Your Money Podcast. Your host, Shawn Leamon, MBA and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, discusses three ways to find hidden assets.

The following tools are available that you can use if you suspect your spouse may be hiding assets:

  • Online websites
  • Private investigator
  • Forensic accountant

Using a website is the cheapest of all three options and can deliver good results. The first one is Docusearch. This website has been active for a while now and combines online research with human private investigators.

The second category of websites is background checks. These companies include Instant Checkmate, Intelius, USSearch, and BeenVerified. You could find out about real estate, cars, or similar assets that have been hidden away by your spouse. You may also learn about criminal information you might not have known about.

The second tool you can employ in your search for hidden assets is a private investigator. They charge more than online resources, but a good private investigator can uncover hidden bank accounts, assets, and other items very effectively. You need to make sure that the private investigator is licensed in your state and has references about their experience.

The third tool you can use is a forensic accountant. These people can be one of the most expensive options, but they are well worth the money. If you have complex asset structure and have access to basic financial data, a forensic accountant can find a needle in a haystack for you. They can look at tax returns, credit card statements, and other documents, and they can discover any shady activity that your spouse may be doing.

Key Learning Points:

  • Websites are cheap and can deliver good results within a reasonable budget.
  • A private investigator can be used to find any hidden assets.
  • Be sure your private investigator is licensed and has references and details about previous experience.
  • A forensic accountant can be an expensive option, but they are well worth the money for finding anything suspicious.

Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. We hope the show helps you through one of the most difficult periods of your life. Shawn Leamon is also author of Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide. One-on-one divorce coaching services are available at www.divorceandyourmoney.com.

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Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.