Contemplating divorce? Afraid your spouse is concealing assets and income from you? Read on…
Divorce can be a very frustrating and challenging experience, it can be further complicated when one spouse attempts to hide assets and/or income before and/or during the divorce process. Unfortunately, this occurs too often when one spouse is trying to avoid sharing these assets with the soon to be ex-spouse.
Finding hidden assets can be very tricky, especially for non-attorneys.
One of the first steps taken when preparing for divorce is determining the financial status of the couple. It is imperative to get a complete picture of all assets (and debts) owned by each spouse separately and jointly. This important phase is used to determine who may be legally entitled to what, and of course for any future negotiations.
Are you the financially “out spouse”?
In some households only one spouse handles all the finances and the other spouse is financially passive or the “out spouse”. If this describes you, it is important to get up to speed financially, as soon as possible, especially because the out spouse is particularly vulnerable to being taken advantage of by a spouse who may be potentially guilty of hiding money and assets.
What can be done?
Begin by asking your spouse for copies of all financial records. If they refuse or are reluctant to do so, it is important to discuss this with a lawyer experienced in asset search and investigation. There is a powerful legal tool used for finding these hidden assets and/or income called “discovery”. The discovery process provides methods of getting the needed information; it is a good way to get financial information from an uncooperative spouse because the court has the power to compel compliance.
Don’t forget, assets come in many forms: cash, the family home, other real estate property, cars, jewelry, fine art, wine collection, and collectibles, savings, checking, brokerage, and retirement accounts, stocks, investment income, royalties, copyrights, patents, etc. And just as many types of assets, there are all different methods of hiding them.
For those contemplating divorce in the state of Pennsylvania may contact our office 610-530-9285. Feldman Law Office has experienced divorce attorneys who will help make the process a lot less scary.
Please note: The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Further, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. The laws change. Each case is different. This blog and website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site is neither formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.