During your divorce, one of the requirements is that you and your spouse report all of your income and assets. You’ll go through them to determine which are marital assets and which are separate. Then, they’ll be divided approximately 50-50, since Texas is a community property state.
The problem with this process is that one spouse may try to hide assets from another. For example, they may not inform the other person about money they’re holding in a private account, even though it was taken out of the shared account. They might not report stocks or give freely information about lottery winnings, for instance.
If you find out that your spouse hid assets while working on the division of your assets, then you may be able to hold them responsible and have the divorce decree altered to reflect a change of distribution. For instance, the judge may order that all of the unreported property be given to you, since the other party broke the law by failing to report it.
What do you need to do to modify your divorce decree?
Usually, to modify your divorce decree, you’ll need to be able to show that the other party misrepresented their assets or hid assets during the divorce to deceive the court. Showing that they didn’t disclose assets that they knew about will help you ask for your fair share. If the judge agrees that those assets were marital assets and belonged to both parties, then you may be able to get additional compensation.
How can you find hidden assets?
It may be a good idea to talk to a forensic accountant or a legal professional about the specific ways that people hide assets and which assets you should look for. You may be surprised and find that there are some assets you’ve missed in plain sight, while others may be hidden deeper in the accounts.
If you do find hidden assets following your divorce, talk to your attorney about your options. You may have the right to pursue compensation and a change in the decree to reflect what was actually a fair division of your property.