One rarely goes an entire day without using some type of technology. A smartphone, Facebook, a Google search... all of these have presented ways to place answers at our fingertips and easily communicate with others. However, technology also provides ways to attempt to perform and to track suspicious and possibly illegal behavior. In a divorce, technology can be particularly helpful when trying to discern whether a party is hiding assets in this way.
The Difficulty in Hiding Assets
When going through a divorce in California, all marital property must be disclosed so it can be divided between the spouses. In the past, hiding assets was arguably easier. When there was only a paper trail, information about secret assets could be shredded and concrete evidence was difficult to find.
Today, however, technology has entered the picture and that trail is rarely deleted entirely. Even when an individual believes they have deleted the evidence, there is a possibility that evidence of the asset still remains in the electronic files of the bank, email provider or other party involved.
The Consequences of Hiding Assets
In divorce proceedings, each individual must disclose all known assets that they possess. Undisclosed offshore banking accounts, hidden financial transactions and money spent on others must be brought forth or the individual may face legal ramifications.
With the advancement of technology, those consequences are becoming more of a reality for many people who have tried to hide assets in divorce. Trails are now easier to trace and secrets are more difficult to keep with the availability of electronic records, and the penalties for hiding assets in divorce can be significant.
When Secrets are Suspected
Suspicious behavior or other clues may lead one to suspect that their partner may be hiding something. During a divorce, it is in that partner's best interest that all secrets and assets are uncovered. Taking matters into one's own hands alone, however, can be difficult.
Using the proper channels to discover information and seeking legal advice is beneficial for both uncovering any hidden evidence and ensuring that any hidden assets become known in divorce proceedings. If you are contemplating divorce and think that your spouse may be hiding assets, contact a knowledgeable family law attorney for help.