January 31, 2013 Articles

A Successful Asset Search Starts with a Great Interview

By Philip Segal

Human beings sometimes know a lot more than they think they know. Even for those of us who are lousy stock pickers and can’t put together a business plan, we know a lot about the people we live with.

It is consistently remarkable to me that when talking to a client about a spouse suspected of hiding assets, it takes two or three conversations or emails to elicit all the helpful information our client knows about her husband and where his assets could be.

Case in point: a recent investigation started after the wife gave us “all” the names of companies her husband had been associated with. A week later, she remembered two more names. A week after that, she remembered that she had not given us a cell phone number her husband uses when he is in the United States. That cell phone ended up tying him to a company for which we had no other documentary evidence of his involvement.

The moral is that a good asset search starts with a great interview, and needs follow-up (and often a few follow-ups).

We have devised a questionnaire we give to clients who want us to search a spouse’s assets. This differs from the form that most states require an opposing spouse to fill out because it asks not only for asset information but for clues to help find assets.

Premium Content For:
  • Litigation Section
Join - Now