In a divorce, the couple’s marital assets must be divided equitably
. This is always an easier process when both parties are equally involved in the couple’s financial life and each understands the value of their marital assets. When one party is more well-versed in the couple’s finances than the other, that party might try to hide assets from the other in order to keep them after the divorce. Divorcing individuals are advised to work with lawyers who prioritize a fair asset distribution and work to ensure one for each client.
If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, discuss your concern with your lawyer. You can use the following strategies to protect your assets in a divorce.
Work with a Forensic Accountant
A forensic accountant uses auditing and accounting skills to trace the movement trails of money and other assets during a dispute or legal proceeding. If your spouse already stole or hid assets from you, a forensic accountant can determine exactly when the assets were removed from your marital account and where they went.
Be Proactive and Keep a Close Eye on your Accounts
If you have not yet closed your joint accounts, divide the money within them and close them promptly. If this is not an option right now, pay very close attention to the accounts and question any charges you do not recognize. Be especially wary of suspicious “loans” to friends and relatives and large cash withdrawals. These can be ways to cover an attempt to hoard marital funds.
Have your Lawyer Conduct the Discovery Process
Your lawyer can also conduct the discovery process to shed light on whether your spouse is hiding assets. He or she can employ one or more of the following to trace your spouse’s actions with your assets:
A document or inspection demand. Your lawyer can file a motion to demand that your spouse produce a certain document, such as a tax return or financial statement, or to demand that he or she be permitted to inspect property, such as a safe deposit box or a storage unit;
Conduct an interrogation. An interrogation requires your spouse to answer specific questions in writing. These answers are made under oath; and
Require a testimony under oath. Your spouse can be required to go before a court reporter and answer questions under oath about the state of your marital assets.
Draper Law Office Can Help you Find your Marital Assets and Complete the Divorce Process
If you are considering filing for divorce, work with an experienced divorce lawyer from Draper Law Office. Visit our firm online or call us at (866) 767-4711 today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team.