There are severe penalties in place for spouses who hide assets during a divorce. It is illegal to lie about anything during the court proceedings, and after you and your spouse have signed a financial affidavit, then you both need to be completely transparent until the divorce is final.
Although there are laws against hiding assets, many spouses choose to do so anyway because they do not think the other spouse will discover anything. You may have a sneaking suspicion your partner has assets hidden, but it can be tough to prove anything without sufficient evidence. Fortunately, there are actions to take to locate any hidden assets before finalizing the separation.
Look at financial records
If you were not privy to your joint bank accounts and other financial records during the marriage, then you need to review everything during the divorce. Even if your spouse handled all the money, you should know what the divorce will entail. In the event your spouse refuses to release such information, then you need to take more drastic measures.
Undergo the discovery process
When you cannot find anything on your own, you are better off hiring an attorney to help you locate more assets and information. There are various tactics a lawyer can employ that will force your spouse’s hand. For example, an attorney can request an official demand for your spouse to release all pertinent information, such as:
- Account records
- Loan applications
- Financial statements
- Tax returns
By law, your spouse will have to surrender these documents. An attorney can also request testimony under oath. This occurs when all parties involved meet with a court reporter. Your spouse will be under oath and any false information provided will be illegal. Your spouse will have to tell the truth and surrender any additional information related to finances or assets. This helps tremendously when you deal with a dishonest spouse.