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Getting a handle on your investments during a divorce

Divorces necessitate that Texas couples account for all of their assets, which may be easy to do when it only involves real estate or bank accounts. However, it can be more complicated when investments like stock portfolios are taken into account. Unfortunately, while both spouses in some couples have about an equal understanding of their finances, not all spouses are intimately involved with making investment choices during the marriage.

A spouse who was not strongly involved in investment decision making may not know where all the investments are. The spouse may also be unaware of exactly how many investments a husband or wife had made. Without this knowledge, it can be a scary prospect to try to track down all the unknown investments. Spouses inexperienced with financial investments may not know where to even start looking or who they should ask to find where the investments are located.

In such cases, bringing in a forensic accountant to look over the books can be helpful. U.S. News and World Report points out that a forensic accountant can identify investments accumulated by both spouses during the marriage and provide a more accurate record. Also, forensic accountants can be on the lookout for possible attempts on the part of a spouse to stash assets so they cannot be divided in the divorce. Not only does finding hidden assets help to safeguard them, but a judge may award the wronged spouse an even greater share of the assets.

Unfortunately, while some spouses are willing to communicate openly on all major issues involving the divorce, other divorces are acrimonious, where a spouse who have exercised great control over the household finances may not be forthcoming with important financial documents. As Nerdwallet points out, you may have to enlist the help of an attorney to get a court order to force a difficult spouse to release documents that you may need.

Also keep in mind that if you share an account with a spouse, the financial institution that holds the account has no obligation to turn down your requests for information. Since the number of financial records you will need can be numerous and involved, you want to begin gathering financial documents as early as possible.

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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
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