WHAT IF MY SPOUSE HIDES ASSETS DURING OUR DIVORCE?
Even in the best of circumstances, divorce has an uncanny way of bringing out surprisingly destructive behavior in spouses who suddenly have concerns about their uncertain future. This especially true in California, where our property division laws require divorcing couples to split marital property equally. Often, spouses who worry that a divorce may cost them half of some assets they don’t wish to divide may choose to hide these assets, hoping that the other spouse won’t find them and claim some portion.
Are you suspicious of your spouse hiding assets during your divorce? The good news is that you have steps you can take to level the playing field. You can begin with an in-depth review of any financial disclosures that your spouse makes near the beginning of the divorce. You may identify aspects of the disclosure that you believe warrant more investigation.
Compelling your spouse to truthfully disclose all the assets he or she may have to determine if they qualify as marital property is not always easy. You may find it necessary to make formal requests for specific documents, or, in some cases, you may use stronger measures and depose your spouse before a court reporter. Depositions are under oath, and lying during a deposition could lead to criminal charges of perjury. While your spouse may still choose to double down on his or her deceit, the stakes are much higher if the individual gets caught.
Before you consider using any of these tactics, be sure that you have professional legal counsel. Navigating these issues is rarely simple, and legal guidance from an experienced divorce attorney ensures that you understand the full scope of the issues at hand while you work towards a fair divorce settlement.
Source: Findlaw, “Tips for Finding Hidden Assets in a Divorce,” accessed Oct. 25, 2017