n a Florida divorce, the court is responsible for ensuring that the couple's marital assets and liabilities are divided fairly. To accomplish this task, the court will look at detailed information about the couple's financial holdings, assets, and debts. While both sides are required to fully disclose this information there can be situations where a spouse may decide they would rather hide an asset than identify it for purposes of equitable division. This deceptive behavior is not only dishonorable it is illegal and could result in severe consequences for the concealing party.
An individual's reasons for hiding assets may vary, but in many cases, it is rooted in a belief that the other party does not deserve to benefit from the concealed property. The basis could be that one spouse feels that the other person is to blame for the end of the marriage. The individual may also feel that since they performed all or most the work to procure the property, it rightfully belongs to them. Whatever the party tells themselves to justify hiding the asset, the court will not accept any excuses for this conduct. Equitable division requires a complete and honest picture of the parties' assets, without exception.
Hiding marital assets is not only untruthful it is considered a fraud on the court. This means that an individual who tries to get away with concealing this type of property can be charged with fraud, fined, and otherwise penalized by the court. Additionally, the court they are trying to deceive is the very same one which will be dividing the couple’s property. As such, it has the discretion to award the innocent spouse all of the concealed asset or a disproportionate amount of the couple’s property. Further, once a party has been caught being dishonest with the court, their credibility will be damaged throughout the remainder of the case.
Finding Hidden Assets
The more a party knows about their marital holdings, the better their chances of noticing when it is not being reported to the court. That being said, there are marriages where for different reasons one partner has more knowledge about the finances while the other does not. If you suspect that your former partner is hiding assets, your first step is to get help from an experienced divorce attorney. Your counsel will know how to ask for relevant information formally, find missing assets, and request that the court punish the deceiving party. Without an attorney to advocate for you, you risk not having a fair division of your assets.
Contact the Draper Law Office to Evaluate your Divorce Case
If you are involved in a divorce and believe your former spouse is improperly concealing assets contact us today to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, who can fight for you. To properly evaluate your case contact the Draper Law Office online or by calling (866) 767-4711 to set up your initial consultation in our office.