By Alex Soutos
A third of marriages in the United States are headed for divorce. This has totally changed the role of the private investigator, making hidden assets a major focus for a large percentage of divorces. Along with a competent lawyer, the private investigator is an essential member of the team, discretely gathering information about any hidden assets being withheld that would prevent a fair settlement.
Many divorcees attempt to dodge alimony and child support. A significant percentage of “dead-beat” husbands and dads will go to extreme lengths to hide financial assets to avoid paying what they owe, including the hoarding of cash before a divorce, and even transferring money to their friends or family for “safe keeping.”
A private investigator will use forensic accounting procedures to locate these assets, and to uncover secret financial agreements between suspects and other parties. A parent that states they aren’t capable of paying child support may be hiding assets; the private investigator will locate them, conducting undercover surveillance to determine any secret spending habits and hidden money that could and should be for the children.
An experienced private investigator knows every one of those financial dirty tricks and how to uncover them for a victimized family:
- A cheating spouse will often intercept the delivery of financial and banking statements to hide the fact that marital assets are being taken. The private investigator will thoroughly review the statements and history of credit cards, credit unions, banks, pending tax returns, and pensions funds.
- Any sudden decreases in income or salary are investigated to make sure that a spouse hasn’t attempted to hold back commissions, bonuses, or scheduled income until after their divorce is finalized.
- An overpayment to the IRS or some other creditor can mean a refund after the divorce settlement, red flags for any knowledgeable investigator.
- Frequently a spouse who owns a business will adjust the books to make the company worth less on the balance sheets. They might pay money to “ghost” employees, put off pending contracts and beneficial deals, and even “pay” family members who will hold the checks for them until after the divorce.
In most of these cases, the partner with less financial resources, usually the woman, will have to prove unethical behavior on the part of their spouse. That’s why the equalizing factor on a divorce team is always the private investigator, whose skills in gathering information will help assure that all assets are uncovered.
Samos Investigations, LLC provides special investigation services for attorneys and individuals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Contact us or call 484-467-6911 for more information.