Hidden Assets

Divorcing your spouse will require both of you to disclose all your assets so they can be equally divided. Unfortunately, some spouses hide certain assets during divorce proceedings for a financial benefit. This can deprive the other spouse of an asset that is rightfully theirs such as a bank account, financial interest or property.

It can be incredibly difficult to track hidden assets without legal assistance. A skilled divorce attorney can assess your financial records and find any discrepancies. They can also provide documentation to the court proving the asset is shared and a portion rightfully belongs to you. 

If you believe your spouse is hiding assets during your divorce proceedings, it’s imperative you seek the help of a qualified family lawyer.

Divorce Attorney Explains Hiding Assets in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

It’s the legal duty of your spouse to disclose of all their assets in case of divorce. Failing to do is technically a crime and they could be held in contempt of court. If you are suspicious that your spouse may be hiding assets from you, it’s vital you call Bacchus Law Firm. 

Nisha E. Bacchus at Bacchus Law Firm has years of experience uncovering hidden assets in divorce cases. She will analyze every nook and cranny of your finances to see if anything looks suspect. Call (954) 500-5555 now to schedule a consultation. Bacchus Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Broward County area including Pembroke Pines and Fort Lauderdale.

 Overview of Hidden Assets in Florida

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Why Would Someone Conceal Their Assets in a Divorce?

Both spouses are required to disclose all their assets if they decide to dissolve their marriage. This is because Florida is an equitable distribution state, so all shared marital property is subject to division by the court. Marital property is any property attained during the marriage such as:

  • Shared marital homes;
  • Mortgages;
  • Interests;
  • Debts;
  • Motor vehicles;
  • Property; or
  • Businesses 

In some cases, one spouse may hide their assets from another, so they’re not obligated to divide them. This may be because the other spouse never knew about the asset in the first place or an attempt to deprive the other spouse of property they lawfully own.

This can be a challenge in court to say the least. If your spouse hides assets from you, then you’ll be obligated to “prove” they exist. It may require you to obtain financial records and do some deep-diving through your shared assets.

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How Your Spouse May Be Hiding Their Assets from You

Your spouse could be hiding certain assets from you for a financial benefit. This can include hiding property such as collectible artwork or motor vehicles from sight. It also incorporates financial information such as offshore bank accounts or interests that you may be unaware of.

Listed below are some ways your spouse may be hiding their assets.

  • Under-reporting their income to the IRS;
  • Colluding to delay stock options, bonuses or raises with an employer until after divorce;
  • Hiding investments or bank accounts;
  • Overpaying taxes intentionally so they roll over;
  • Buying expensive gifts for a girlfriend or boyfriend with shared martial finances;
  • Colluding with another to pay a fake debt and collect money after the divorce;
  • Concealing expensive items such as antiques or art collections; or
  • Hiding information from insurance companies

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How to Find Out Your Spouse is Hiding Assets from You

It’s your spouse’s legal duty to present all their assets, shared and separate. If you believe you spouse isn’t being truthful, then you can use certain tactics to uncover any hidden assets. However, all of these and more are much more efficient and accurate with the help of an experienced attorney. It’s highly recommended you don’t do any of the following on your own.

  • Production Request of Financial Documents – Your attorney can file a formal request to ask for a list of requested documents. The request must be answered in the time frame written into the legal document. You can overlook the documents provided by your spouse to spot any inconsistencies or suspicious activity.
  • Deposition of Your Spouse – A deposition is a question-and-answer session outside of the courtroom and presided over by a court reporter. You can use the deposition to have your spouse answer tough questions and see if you can expose any lies.
  • Interrogatories – An interrogatory is a list of written financial questions directed towards your spouse. They will have 30 days to answer all the questions and can be used as evidence in your divorce proceedings.

  • Subpoena Certain Financial Information – One of the best ways to discover hidden assets is by having your lawyer subpoena certain information for you. The record subpoenas would be directed towards your spouse’s employer, medical provider, or businesses. A subpoena is a court order, so the respondent is obligated to answer it. 

While these are more aggressive and direct ways to obtaining this information, they aren’t the only options. You can also find hidden assets by carefully examining tax returns, bank records, 1099 documents for discrepancies such as undisclosed income streams and improper transactions. With the assistance of an attorney, you can even hire financial experts to overlook your financial information. 

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Additional Resources

Instructions for Mandatory Disclosure of Assets – Visit the official website of the Florida courts to access instructions for the mandatory disclosure of your assets. Access the form to learn more about mandatory disclosure, the time limit you must provide certain financial information and what happens if you hide your assets in court. 

Florida Divorce Laws – Visit the official website of the Florida Senate to learn more about Florida’s divorce laws. Access the site to learn what happens when you dissolve a marriage, what’s required of both parties and what happens if you share children. 

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Hidden Assets Lawyer in Broward County, Florida

If you’re skeptical that your spouse didn’t disclose all their assets, it’s important you contact an experienced family lawyer. Bacchus Law Firm has handled many divorce cases where a spouse hid assets. Nisha E. Bacchus can overlook your financial records to see if anything appears suspicious.

Call (954) 500-5555 to schedule a consultation with attorney Bacchus. Her years of experience can help you move on from this with all the assets you deserve. Bacchus Law Firm represents people throughout the greater Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area including Pembroke Pines and Hollywood. 

This article was last updated on June 6, 2019.