Divorces can get ugly. Someone who was once your world suddenly becomes your enemy. One area that can get especially messy is property division. One spouse may try to hide assets in hopes of preventing the other spouse from benefiting from them. Although such action can lead to legal consequences, some spouses, nonetheless, attempt to do so.
The first step should be to try to get the information from your spouse. In an ideal world your spouse will be upfront about all the assets. But if your spouse is uncooperative or you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, it is probably best to contact an attorney to guide you through this process. An attorney can assist you in obtaining financial information from your spouse by using the discovery process.
Some of the discovery tools include:
Document demand: Your attorney can ask your spouse to produce financial documents such as bank statements, tax returns, and recent pay stubs.
Interrogatories: This allows your attorney to ask specific questions to which your spouse will have to answer in writing or admit specific statements that you believe are true.
Inspection demands: This allows you to inspect property that you believe may be of value.
Deposition: During a deposition, your spouse will answer questions under oath. You, your spouse, attorneys and a court reporter will be present. Because this is under oath, your spouse may be penalized for “perjury” if it is discovered he has provided false information. Thus, a deposition is a great way to put some pressure on your spouse to tell the truth.
Perhaps the most powerful aspect of discovery is that if your spouse fails to comply with a request, you may ask the court to order your spouse to furnish financial documents. If your spouse still fails to produce the documents or information requested, the court may impose a “sanction” which can result in a judgment against your spouse on a particular issue or a monetary award for you.
If you have any questions about divorce or any other issue, the Certified Family Law Specialists at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri have decades of experience handling complex family law matters. Please contact the Certified Family Law Specialists at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri for further information. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.