Attorneys in Missouri and other states who handle divorce cases have come to know the warning flags that may indicate extra income that a spouse is hiding from the other. This is often accomplished by studying the income tax returns that are filed by the parties. There are details on these forms that a spouse may not want the other to see; however, with a sharp eye the other side will be able to pick up some hidden “treasures” from the tax filings. In family law procedure regarding a divorce proceeding, each side has the benefit of discovery and will have the other party’s records to study. 

Therefore, there will be many clues that an experienced family law attorney or a retained accountant will pick up from those records. The dishonest spouse may have a practice of pouring money into various funnels such as health savings accounts or retirement accounts. When these are withheld by the employer, the individual may be able to create an excess cushion that will be beneficial in future years and that lead to paying lower support or alimony payments. The practice can be discovered by closely examining the other spouse’s pay stubs.

Schedule B of the tax return contains information on interest and dividends. The stashing of money may lead to the reporting of excessive interest payments on that Schedule. Another form, Schedule D, deals with capital gains and losses. This form may reveal where the spouse is taking money out of brokerage accounts and spending or hiding it. There are also secret companies that some business persons may create to hide money away.

A search of business filings in Missouri, for example, may turn up clues that reveal a spouse’s secrets. There are many ways that family law attorneys and experienced accountants use to find these patterns and clues of dishonest dealings by a spouse during and before divorce proceedings. When all of the paperwork is available, it may be a good time for those in a problematic situation to arrange a meeting with their team to make a review to determine the presence of any of these red flags.