Divorce can get messy, especially regarding things like high-value assets and property. Some spouses will do anything to shield the items they believe they are entitled to or refuse to share. How would you know if your spouse is hiding something, and how would you even uncover these assets? Your first step is to hire professional legal assistance. An experienced divorce attorney will understand what signs to watch out for, where to look, and how to look.
One of the first steps necessary in dividing assets during the divorce process is to create an accurate picture of all assets owned by each spouse, which will be categorized as marital property. If one spouse is hiding assets, the integrity of the process is compromised, and the spouse who is not hiding assets will get less than what he or she deserves.
What If I Did Not Handle the Household Finances?
In a marriage, it is not uncommon for one spouse to handle all the bookkeeping while the other plays little to no part in managing any of the finances. If you were the spouse who did not handle any of your household’s bookkeeping, your spouse might think that he or she can take advantage of your lack of knowledge, and without a skilled attorney on your side, this could entirely be a possibility.
You could ask your spouse for copies of all financial records, which he or she should provide, though spouses rarely hand over such critical documents so quickly, especially if they are hiding assets. This is where your attorney can come in handy.
The Discovery Process
Suppose your spouse refuses to voluntarily provide all the financial documents necessary for your divorce. In that case, you and your attorney must begin the formal process of obtaining them through discovery. This could potentially include all of the following:
- The document demands: Your attorney will ask your spouse to produce all relevant documents, including tax returns, financial statements, loan applications, and any other financial documents containing pertinent information for the divorce.
- Written questions: Also known as interrogatories, your spouse must answer questions in writing or admit to certain statements.
- Inspection demands: It is also possible for you to ask to inspect the property, such as a safe deposit box or an expensive wine collection.
- Testimony under oath: During an oral deposition, you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys will appear before a court reporter, where your spouse will be sworn in, to tell the truth, and must answer the questions asked by your attorney.
This process is a great way to allow a spouse to gather financial information from an uncooperative spouse. The court has the power to compel compliance, so if your spouse fails to produce certain documents that you request, you can ask a judge to order your spouse to do so. If your spouse still fails to produce the documents, the court might punish your spouse by imposing a sanction, potentially including monetary fines.
Property Division Attorney in Reno
If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and believe he or she has been hiding assets, you need an experienced attorney who understands how to handle such matters. At the Kelli Anne Viloria in Reno, our family law attorney is backed by years of experience, knowledge, and legal insight. Our team is relentless when it comes to protecting the best interests of our clients.
Get started on your divorce case today and contact our law office at (775) 476-5642 to schedule an appointment.