Hidden Assets in a Divorce Case

eviewed and approved by Kathryn Wayne-Spindler

Hidden assets are not uncommon in a divorce case. Without full disclosure, a civil divorce case can take a turn and head for criminal court. A party may be found in contempt of court, conspiracy, wire fraud, and even money laundering. It is not always easy trying to get financial information from a party that does not want to cooperate.

A lawyer may have to hire a financial investigator. A financial investigator is someone who knows how to collect financial intelligence via financial databases and subpoena. With the help of a financial investigator, offshore bank accounts can be discovered and any information can be shared with a forensic account.  This person can see if financial fraud has occurred. This can help a lawyer  put pressure on opposing counsel to make the other side become more truthful and transparent.

For a financial investigator to be hired, a lawyer will introduce the client and the investigator so that any work product is protected under attorney-client privilege.

A financial investigator will track wire transfers which will show how much money has gone out prior to and during the divorce. All information will need to be scrutinized to make sure that all accountings are accurate, and that the business-owner spouse is not hiding any kind of information from the non-business owner spouse. The financial investigator will also provide a background check and start looking at any domestic bank accounts, trace money overseas, and supply the attorney with all the facts and information so that appropriate financial settlement is achieved for their client.

Most offshore bank accounts are held by those who are millionaires, they will tell you that no one keeps a lot of money in a domestic account since liens can be put on the account, judgments can be placed against the account, and tax collectors can come after the account.

Using this type of intelligence is critical when dealing with hidden assets and the need for having the documentation and facts to support those claims in a divorce case is even more critical to be able to show to a judge and get a client the proper financial settlement in a divorce case.

For more information, please see Family Lawyer Magazine Winter 2021, Finding Hidden Assets in Divorce


The attorneys at Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates are experienced attorneys who change with the times to meet the needs of their clients. Contact the Milford, Michigan law office of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates at 248-676-1000 for assistance. The attorneys of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates practice law throughout Southeastern Michigan including Oakland, Wayne, WashtenawGenesee and Livingston counties as well as four mid-Michigan counties ClareGladwinOgemaw and Roscommon. The attorneys handle cases in Milford; Highland; Hartland; White LakeWixom; Commerce; Walled Lake; Waterford; West Bloomfield; Linden; Fenton; Flint; Grand Blanc; Holly; South Lyon; New Hudson; Howell; Clare; Gladwin; Houghton Lake; Higgins Lake; and many more Michigan communities.