Spouse Hiding Assets in a Divorce? What to Do Next
Divorce is never easy. There is always some feeling of loss and at the very least, minor grief experience — and much more if children are involved. Further still, divorce can become increasingly complicated as all the motions and details are discussed. Finally, divorce can become incredibly frustrating if a spouse is found to be concealing or withholding assets. Fortunately, the process of divorce does not have to be so herculean of an effort with the proper guidance and assistance. Today, we discuss what hiding assets is, and what you can do if you suspect hidden assets during a divorce.
What is an Asset, Technically?
An asset is simply personal property. It can be either tangible or intangible, but always has value and can generally be used to pay the debts of the owner. Any item of monetary value can be considered an asset, but so can any things of exclusively sentimental value.
How are Assets Divided During a Divorce?
The division of assets can become difficult to distribute and negotiate, but also has some structure to it. For instance, community property is anything earned or acquired during a marriage. Debts, unless specified to one sole person, tend to be associated under community property debt.
Separate property, then, is any property awarded or inherited by an individual spouse, typically prior to the marriage. Depending on the circumstances, if something’s value increased, it may be considered a community property. A divorce lawyer can help distinguish between either community or separate properties during the process.
A fair and equitable, but not necessarily equal division and distribution of assets is determined by the court. While not necessarily physically divided, awards are distributed as the process determines fit and fair.
What Can Be Done if There is Suspected Asset Concealment or Withholding?
Hidden assets are assets that are omitted or underreported. Perhaps a business owned may seem to make less money than it may actually make, for example. It’s important to promptly contact a divorce lawyer, as they will be able to help extrapolate any necessary information and documentation to ensure that you are properly given a fair distribution and that there exists a proper and fair division. At Baginski Brandt & Brandt, we have experience combing through documents to determine the movement of funds and evidence mismatched income and lifestyle. In addition, the hiring a forensic accountant can also help determine the nature of assets shared, and to ensure proper distribution. Gathering documentation with the help of an attorney serves as evidence for claims.
Further still, an attorney may take advantage of interrogatories, requests to produce documents, and subpoenas to financial institutions to obtain access to financial documents, general inquiries, and even access to specific property. There may even be the possibility of requiring your spouse to answer questions under oath, (depositions where additional documents can be demanded) with recording for ensured legal accuracy and documentation. The most important step, however, is bringing to attention to your attorney any suspicions of hidden assets, as this will allow all the rest of the steps to flow as needed.
Questions Regarding Assets and Divorce? Contact Our Office Today
Navigating through the sea of complications that tide high and low throughout the process of divorce can be grueling and downright exhausting. Worse still, the whole process can become messier when transparency isn’t fully available. Still, there are options, and certainly solutions to any dilemmas you may currently and temporarily be facing. At Baginski Brandt & Brandt, our Port St. Lucie family law attorneys care about helping you through the hardships you may be facing, and assisting you every step of the way. If you have any questions about assets during divorce, have confidence reaching out to us at 772-466-0707 today.