If your instincts point out that your spouse is hiding assets, you’re probably right. It happens before or during the divorce proceedings to avoid sharing a larger piece of paradise. The great news is that you have a legal tool called ‘discovery’ at your disposal. It finds hidden assets and income. This article will enlighten those whose spouses have hidden assets. Read on to find out!
Does Your Spouse Have Hidden Assets? Here is Your Weapon!
While dividing assets in a divorce, both parties are compelled to produce a complete financial picture. Property can be further broken down, which may vary in states.
Marital: Those acquired during the marriage.
Separate: Property acquired after separation, as a gift or inheritance, or before the marriage even existed.
Commingled: It’s a blend of marital and separate properties, like a retirement fund.
Are You The ‘Out-spouse’?
If your spouse handled the bookkeeping or finances with little or no participation from your end, you are the ‘out-spouse.’ As such, you have no access to immediate financial details. Although it may not be fruitful, you should first ask for copies of all the financial records. Sometimes, the documents may also be untraceable; if you can work together to solve the mystery, the better. This way, you can send joint requests for records to the banks or retirement plan administrators. Too easy, we would say, because this rarely happens. So, below is the divorce discovery process:
How To Find Hidden Assets In Divorce
If your spouse is difficult and the requests are ineffective, you may have to go the hard way and involve your attorney. The legal and formal process should unearth the information and documents you need. Although this procedure is different in states, it pretty much incorporates the following:
- The demand for documents
Your attorney will ask for particular documents from your spouse. It may include tax returns, loan applications, and financial statements.
- Interrogatories or Admission requests
The former are written questions that your spouse will answer in writing. The latter ensures they admit to statements that you believe hold some truth.
- The demand for inspection/n
You can request to inspect properties like a safe deposit box.
- Testimony under oath
Also called oral deposition, both parties and their lawyers appear before a court reporter. Your spouse will swear to speak the truth and has to answer all the questions asked by your legal team.
The discovery tool aids soon-to-be divorcees when dealing with an uncooperative partner. Thanks to the compelling compliance as disobedience comes with a punishment like monetary fines or imposing by ‘sanction.’
Penalty For Hiding Assets In Divorce
The consequence for not disclosing assets in divorce may vary from state to state. Regardless, the untruthful spouse will still be in contempt of court. Once a judge affirms that the party knowingly violated the assets disclosure directives, they may have to cater to the other spouse’s attorney fees and fines. The judge may also dismiss the claims. Depending on how serious, it may end in jail time. The uncooperative spouse may also pay additional penalties. The court may also offer a larger distribution of the divorce settlement to the offended party instead of a fair split. Besides, provided you have lied before the court, your credibility and respect go with it. This way, it’s easy to believe you are lying about more things in the divorce proceedings. It could affect future court cases.
Does your spouse have hidden assets? If this is your case, a divorce consultation with an experienced divorce attorney may help. Searching for a family attorney in Miami that you can trust? Arturo R. Alfonso P.A offers a free fifteen-minute strategy session that will end in a favorable outcome. We will offer our support at every step until everything is finalized.