Hidden Marital Assets And Your Divorce
If a divorcing party suspects that their spouse is hiding marital assets, a divorce lawyer can play a crucial role in investigating the situation and taking appropriate legal action. This situation can leave you frustrated and feeling helpless. However, that is far from correct. Here's what to expect from your divorce lawyer when your spouse is suspected of hiding assets.
- Conduct Discovery: Discovery is a legal process that allows both parties in a divorce to gather information and evidence from each other. A divorce lawyer can utilize various discovery methods, such as requests for the production of documents, interrogatories, and depositions, to obtain financial records, bank statements, tax returns, business records, and other relevant documents. These can help uncover any hidden assets.
- Forensic Accounting: In complex cases or when significant assets are involved, a divorce lawyer may work with forensic accountants. These professionals have expertise in analyzing financial records and tracing assets. They can identify discrepancies, track hidden transactions, and provide expert testimony if necessary.
- Engage Experts: Depending on the circumstances, a divorce lawyer may consult with other experts, such as appraisers, real estate professionals, or business valuators, to accurately assess the value of assets and determine if any have been concealed.
- Subpoenas and Court Orders: If necessary, a divorce lawyer can seek court orders or subpoenas to obtain financial records or information from third parties, such as banks, employers, or business partners. These legal tools can help reveal undisclosed assets and transactions.
- Negotiation and Settlement: If hidden assets are discovered, a divorce lawyer can use the information to negotiate a fair settlement. They can advocate for their client's rights and ensure that the concealed assets are properly accounted for in the division of marital property.
- Court Proceedings: Though not many divorces come to this point, some cases of hidden assets must be decided in court. In cases where a spouse is actively hiding assets, a divorce lawyer can present the evidence of concealment to the court. They can file motions, present arguments, and seek appropriate remedies, such as sanctions or penalties, to address the fraudulent behavior.
It's important to note that each case is unique, and the specific actions taken by a divorce lawyer will depend on the circumstances and laws of the state involved. It's advisable to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer who can assess the situation, provide guidance, and take appropriate legal steps to address the suspected hiding of marital assets.