If you are in the middle of the divorce process and you have gotten to the point where you are dividing the marital assets that you and your spouse own together, in theory, you will want to be confident that you have both laid all of the assets on the table and that there are no hidden assets anywhere.
When it comes to assets in a divorce, no stone should be left unturned and as much as that is true in theory, there are still many instances in which one of the spouses decides to hide assets to hurt the other spouse in some way. As much as each spouse has the responsibility to be forthcoming about the assets, there are still some very clever spouses who have figured out how to hide assets.
The process of discovery helps to uncover hidden assets
You may be wondering exactly how hidden assets can be uncovered during discovery. In some states across the country, there is a financial disclosure form that the couple must complete. In California, there is a preliminary and final disclosure declaration and the spouses are definitively responsible for revealing everything that they have, have knowledge of and any information that is connected to the assets concerning community property and separate property. If either of the spouses are not forthcoming, there will be consequences.
For example, interestingly, in California, a law was passed that if a spouse used any money to purchase a lottery ticket from the couple’s community bank account that was still existing when the couple separated, and the lottery ticket won, the spouse not revealing the winnings caused the court to award a community share or all of the winnings to the other spouse. That has been upheld by higher courts as well. This supports the importance of the spouses being transparent about the assets and their value.
Solid advice from an astute California divorce attorney
The divorce process is difficult enough as it is but if you add the idea that the other spouse is hiding assets, it can make the divorce contentious and difficult to navigate and resolve. Part of the obligation of both spouses in a divorce is to disclose all financial information. There may be a variety of motivating factors that drive why the spouse decides to hide assets, such as greed or hostility. Whatever the reason, it is not acceptable, ethically or legally, in a divorce and your divorce attorney can help you to get to the truth and to help you to protect your financial interests so that you can move on with your life.