When going through the process of divorce, both parties must disclose all of their financial assets. Although the courts may trust both parties, oftentimes spouses don’t trust each other to cough up all their financial assets. Keeping an asset a secret or giving it to someone until the divorce is finalized is considered hiding assets. From property to money and investments, any hidden asset can result in the spouse having to pay the other for what they tried to hide, or even light jail time. There are a few ways you can find out if your spouse is keeping assets hidden from you, but most of them involve hiring a good divorce lawyer. The best divorce lawyer in Northport, Simonetti & Associates can help make your divorce less hectic, as well as, guide you through the process of uncovering possible hidden assets.
How Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets:
Assets can pertain to property, businesses, collectibles, vehicles, retirement funds, and just about anything that has to do with money. Assets from each party are pooled together and then divide among the spouses until they agree on who gets what. Some spouses have gone to the extent of hiding some assets so they can’t be divvied up during court. Hiding something as large as a car, property, or business can seem almost impossible, yet there are ways of doing it. Assets are usually hidden by the spouse giving the asset to a family member or friend who can hold onto it until after the divorce is finalized. Sometimes this may even involve the spouse’s new partner holding assets for them. “Gifting” money and valuable objects to friends and family is also a hiding tactic that seems heartfelt but in reality, the spouse will get their “gifts” back after the divorce. Spouses may also argue that they lost the asset, or better yet, that it never existed. Whether your spouse transferred assets to a third party, or they are claiming the asset “disappeared into thin air”, there are always paper trails leading to the truth.
How To Discover Hidden Assets:
Once you have become suspicious about your spouse, what can you do to look for these assets? Your first step can be taking an inventory of the things you and your spouse have acquired throughout your relationship and checking through your tax returns for inconsistencies. The next step would be calling a divorce lawyer in Northport to help you legally look for assets. Divorce lawyers, along with a forensic accountant can help you find inconsistencies in your financial accounts and history. Even without a forensic accountant, divorce lawyers in Northport can arrange for a discovery process to occur in which both parties are required to answer particular questions, as well as, hand over all documents and evidence. Divorce attorneys can call for specific documents from your spouse, interrogate them, and ask for access to various properties. Your divorce attorney may also call for your spouse to undergo a deposition, which is a line of questioning under oath.
If you or your spouse has been trying to hide assets and they are caught, it can lead to various consequences. The most common consequence is making the spouse that hid an asset pay half of the assets worth to the spouse they were trying to hide it from. For example, if your wife is trying to hide a $20,000 car and is caught, she may have to pay you, her spouse, $10,000 in turn. If the spouse does not have to pay or continues hiding assets, some states may make them serve jail time.
Divorce Lawyer in Northport:
Divorces are never easy, especially with the sneaking suspicion that your spouse is holding out on you. To ensure that you are treated equitably during your trial, it’s important to look into your and your spouse’s assets early on in the divorce process. If you are looking for the best divorce lawyer in Northport, Simonetti & Associates are ready to take your case. Contact us today to learn more about your right to assets during your divorce!