Divorce causes people to do many things they otherwise would not, and one of those is hiding assets. Spouses do this to protect the assets from being divided during property division hearings, and so they can leave the divorce with that property intact. Hiding assets during the divorce process is against the law, as both spouses are expected to provide full disclosure about their finances. Fortunately, there are ways to discover hidden assets during divorce, and a Michigan divorce lawyer can help you do it.
Discovering Assets if You are the “Out-Spouse”
It is not uncommon in a marriage for one person to handle all the finances and the other spouse to remain largely out of it. In these cases, lawyers sometimes call the spouse not familiar with the finances the “out-spouse.”
The first step for out-spouses is to ask their partner for copies of any important financial records. When the spouse complies with this request, it is fairly easy to gather the important records necessary. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Spouses sometimes cannot find the necessary records and so, the two people have to work together to obtain account records.
Other times, a spouse may refuse to provide the information because they are trying to hide assets. In this instance, it is important to find those assets and to work with an attorney that will know how to discover them.
Discovering Hidden Assets in Divorce
If you believe your spouse is hiding assets, you may think there is no way to find them. Fortunately, that is not true. All divorce cases will involve a discovery phase, in which both sides can ask the other party for certain information. The discovery process includes many different tactics, and they include:
- Demanding documents: Financial statements, loan applications, tax returns, and account records are all important documents during divorce. A lawyer will ask for these to look for hidden assets.
- Interrogatories: Interrogatories are written questions one party in divorce asks the other. The other side will write down their answers and submit them, which can also help discover hidden assets.
- Inspection demands: You are allowed to ask to inspect certain property such as a wine collection or a safe deposit box.
- Testimony: During a deposition, one party is questioned under oath, which means they must tell the truth. If your spouse lies while under oath, they may face charges of perjury, which will have serious consequences that could even include jail time. Sometimes, that is the only pressure a spouse needs to reveal hidden assets.
After reviewing the facts of your case, a Michigan family lawyer can advise on which method is right for you.
Call Our Divorce Lawyers in Michigan Today
If you believe your spouse is hiding assets during divorce, our Michigan divorce lawyers at Iafrate & Salassa can help you discover them. Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.