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What to Do If You Suspect Your Spouse is Hiding Assets

The division of assets can be one of the most contested elements in a divorce proceeding. In some divorces, one spouse might attempt to hide property to avoid that asset being involved in legal proceedings. If you think your spouse might be concealing resources in your divorce, there are opportunities in the legal process for you to uncover hidden property.

Marital or separate property is anything that is owned or has value, such as:

  • Money
  • Real estate
  • Vehicles
  • Retirement accounts
  • Stocks
  • Furniture
  • Businesses
  • Pensions

California courts split these assets in a divorce based on the “community property” standard, so any assets acquired during the marriage are owned by both spouses and are up for division during a divorce.

If your spouse is hiding property, you have options to gain access to information regarding the full picture of the assets available for division. In some cases, your spouse simply might not have a complete record of the property. In this case, it is possible to file requests to any relevant financial institutions to seek account records.

If your spouse is being purposefully evasive about assets that may be in his or her possession, your attorney can seek information during the discovery phase of the divorce case. Discovery can be used to gain access to any records, accounts and documents relevant to the distribution of community property.

As part of discovery, an attorney can make a demand for documents from your spouse, including financial account information, tax returns, bank statements and loan agreements. Additionally, your spouse may be required to answer questions submitted by your attorney in writing. Your attorney can also demand a property inspection, like examining real estate holdings or a safety deposit box.

A deposition can be an effective tool for uncovering hidden assets in a divorce. It requires your spouse to testify under oath in response to questions asked by your attorney. Depositions are useful in revealing concealed property because lying under oath is a crime and can result in your spouse being charged with perjury. Additionally, if your spouse refuses to comply with a deposition, a judge can apply sanctions, which might result in a fine or judgment.

Divorces can be emotionally and legally complicated. If you have a complex property situation, such as suspecting your spouse is hiding assets, an experienced divorce lawyer can aid in preparing your case.

The family law attorneys at Strategic Law Command work to ensure your best interests are accounted for in your divorce. For a consultation, call (916) 787-1234 or contact us online.