Uncovering assets during divorce may be possible with tax return

Deciding to get divorced in Massachusetts can be challenging from both an emotional and a financial standpoint. However, the divorce process can be particularly difficult to navigate for spouses who feel that their significant others are hiding significant assets from them. Here is a rundown on how to possibly discover concealed assets during a divorce.

Individuals who feel that their spouses are hiding assets from them may consider using private investigators to uncover the truth once and for all. However, hiring an investigator — which can be costly — might not be necessary if a divorcing spouse has access to the recent tax returns that he or she and the other party filed jointly. Form 1040 in particular may hint at the fact that the other party has been hiding assets.

Schedule D of Form 1040 may list details about any capital gains that the other party received by selling individual stocks or fund shares. In addition, Schedule B might offer information about interest received from bank accounts and investments that one party may not have been privy to. Finally, Schedule E offers information related to income generated from a rental property, estates, partnerships, trusts or S corporations — assets that likewise may have been hidden from one of the spouses over the years.

Investigating whether one’s spouse has hidden assets may be a wise move during divorce, as it impacts how the distribution of marital property is ultimately handled during a divorce proceeding. If two people who are getting divorced can agree on how to split their property, they can resolve their financial issues at the negotiation table or through divorce mediation, thus avoiding the stressful process of litigation. An attorney can provide the guidance and support needed to pursue a favorable property division in a Massachusetts divorce.