If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets, you might consider looking into their personal records to try to find those assets. But before you go snooping, just know that there are certain paths that you should not dare to tread. One such example: trying to pull your spouse’s credit report.
The credit report can contain a treasure trove of information that can prove to you that your spouse has been stashing cash in secret places. It could identify any financial accounts or credit that you might be unaware of. Naturally, this is a powerful piece of evidence, but it is illegal for you to request a copy of your spouse’s credit report.
In order to legally request someone else’s consumer credit reports, you need what is called a permissible purpose to do so. Situations with permissible purpose could be, for example, your spouse trying to get a job, a loan or insurance from you. Marriage ”“ and even divorce ”“ do not qualify.
However, if your spouse is a business owner, you are able to check his or her business credit reports and scores legally, since those are not regulated the same way as consumer reports.
Now, despite the illegality of requesting someone else’s consumer credit reports, in this day and age some spurned spouses have taken to other methods of acquiring those reports. Namely, the Internet ”“ sites like CreditKarma make it easy for consumers to access their own credit reports, and though there are plenty of security measures in place, spouses may be able to access them online through their intimate knowledge of their partner’s personal information. If your spouse can answer your security questions, they may be able to weasel their way into your credit report. But, again, this is illegal, and if you are caught (if your spouse notices inquiries he or she did not make, for example) you may end up paying for it in court.
The services of a divorce attorney can help you pursue legal avenues to discover hidden assets in your divorce.