An American woman living overseas was contemplating divorce and wanted us to find out how much her husband was worth. His assets were spread internationally, but he had previously lived in the United States, was working at a publicly listed U.S. company, and still had family in the country with whom he did business.
We did a complete public records search for the husband in all the states where he had lived, worked or had relatives. We also did an investigation of all the businesses affiliated with his current and previous companies to determine whether he had any continued involvement with them.
We were able to conclude that the husband was worth at least double what his wife had suspected, based on U.S. securities filings and other public records.Part of our findings included a share in a home previously unknown to the wife, as well as activity in an offshore corporation that had off-the-books dealings with the husband's publicly listed U.S. company. Finally, we found that the husband had been the defendant in a recent lawsuit, and we were able to interview the plaintiff for information about the husband’s business practices, associates and other assets.
You can read our piece in the New York Law Journal on asset searches during divorce cases, co-written with New York matrimonial attorney Michael Stutman, "Detecting Hidden Assets During Divorce" (subscription required).
You can also read our article for Bloomberg BNA Family Law Reporter on asset searches in divorce cases: "Matrimonial Asset Searches: Your Client Knows More than She Thinks."
Philip Segal discusses asset searches in depth in his book, The Art of Fact Investigation. Click on the book image on the title page of this blog for more details.