Ideally, a divorced parent will be upfront about how much he or she earns in order to provide the other spouse with a fair amount of child support. But you might suspect your ex-spouse is concealing income in order to lower the child support that you receive. If you feel this is the case, there are ways to find out if and how your ex-spouse is hiding money.
According to CNBC, there are a number of ways you may discover that a co-parent is hiding assets to avoid paying child support. You might find out about a hidden account, or you may discover some indication that your co-parent has hidden money, which may prompt a further investigation to uncover the money.
Reviewing tax schedules
Sometimes tax schedules on a 1040 form can send warning signals that a parent is hiding money. A Schedule B is something tax filers use to fill out information on sources of interest and dividends, like bank accounts, brokerage companies, and mutual funds. Also, if your co-parent has made gains or posted losses from capital gains, this information should show up on Schedule D.
These schedules may reveal hidden money in a number of ways. A Schedule D description of capital gains and losses may reveal that the parent removed money from a brokerage account. However, you later find that the parent never reinvested the money. A Schedule B statement of interest earnings may reveal a secret account that the parent never disclosed.
Reviewing payroll information
Some parents decide to conceal money at work so that it never makes it to a paycheck and thus will not become part of child support. They may transfer some of their wages into another account they own, like a health savings account, a deferred compensation plan, or a 401(k).
However, you might find out about these transfers if you can gain access to pay stubs of your ex-spouse. A Form W-2 may also show you that your co-parent has been earning more than the parent had disclosed. The W-2 may additionally describe how much the parent has put away in workplace plans and how much the parent is withholding in income taxes.