One of the main goals of a divorce is to provide a fair division of property, assets, and debts between the divorcing parties. Both parties must be completely aware of all assets, debts, and property. Having all the necessary information can be very difficult when one party is not cooperating. Sometimes the situation can even escalate to one spouse attempting to hide assets. Trying to find assets that your spouse is hiding or failing to disclose can be a complicated task, but a skilled divorce attorney can help.
Discovering Hidden Assets:
1. Analyzing the Case: Divorce attorneys attempting to find hidden assets will typically start by analyzing the case. Your attorney should thoroughly look over any financial paperwork you have in your possession and any documents you may have obtained from the other party. This initial review may be enough to determine that there is an asset missing or that the opposing party did not adequately disclose an asset.
2. Using the Discovery Process: Divorce attorneys will also use the discovery process to discover hidden assets. Discovery is the stage in the divorce process where both parties have the chance to ask for specific things they may need for their case. Your attorney may be able to discover hidden assets while reviewing documents (bank statements, insurance documents, etc.), interviewing people, and asking the opposing party pointed questions.
3. Coordinating with Investigators or Experts: Attorneys who suspect the opposing party in a divorce case is hiding assets may consult and coordinate with a private investigator or other experts to pinpoint assets that were not adequately disclosed. Financial documents can be quite complex. In situations where records are convoluted, attorneys may find it useful to hire an expert to analyze the couple’s finances.
4. Obtaining a Court Order: If the opposing party does not disclose information, your California divorce lawyer may help you get a court order to force disclosure of necessary info.
5. Appointing a Forensic Accountant or Special Master:
When there are large amounts of property or assets involved, a case may require a forensic accountant or special master to serve as an expert agent for the court. The forensic accountant or special master obtains information from both parties in the divorce, reviews the data, and issues a recommendation to the court based on their findings. Your divorce attorney will assist you in providing the forensic accountant or special master with everything they need to help you obtain the best possible result for your case.
If you need help with your California divorce or if you have questions about the division of assets, please get in touch with one of the experienced divorce attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.