If you’re going through a divorce and discover that your spouse failed to disclose the existence of some assets acquired throughout the marriage, you need to take action and protect your interests. You deserve a share of all marital property since you contributed to their acquisition in one way or another.
You can still seek legal redress if you discover hidden assets, either during the divorce proceedings or even after everything has been finalized. Here is what you need to know.
It is against the law
The court requires full financial disclosure by both parties preceding a divorce in order to divide the marital estate as required by state laws. By hiding assets, your ex is misleading the court, and it comes with some consequences. They could be held in contempt of court or even charged with perjury for lying under oath.
Evidence is key
Claiming that your ex was not forthcoming with the required information is not enough. You need to provide documentation to back your claims, such as bank records or suspicious property transfers made shortly before the divorce. In addition, there are several other tactics they may use to shortchange you, like undervaluing assets or overpaying taxes to claim a refund. Still, you need evidence to show that, and it is worth considering hiring a professional auditor.
What happens next?
If the court establishes that your ex-spouse intentionally hid assets in a bid to keep them, it may reassign ownership of the said property. You will likely end up with the majority of or all ownership rights of the hidden property. In addition, the court may order that they cover the legal fees involved.
Given that your financial situation will change following a divorce, you need to be on the lookout for any hidden assets and protect what’s yours. Often, the direct approach is the best approach. Sometimes, you can resolve issues through negotiation instead of litigation.