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What will an attorney do to ensure my spouse doesn’t hide assets from the court?

Property division is an important issue in divorce, particularly when there are a lot of assets involved. In the absence of an agreement which determines how marital assets are to be divided, divorce courts have the task of helping determine how to do this.

One important thing for divorcing individuals to realize, especially if they are the financially weaker party, is that the default rules of property division don’t change, and that what really makes a difference in property division is the assets that are recognized by the court. Without the court recognizing assets, they cannot be divided. This is why it is so important to work with an experienced attorney who understands the discovery process and how to locate hidden assets. 

Discovery is the pre-trial process of gathering evidence. In the context of property division, discovery is aimed at taking full stock of the assets of one’s spouse so as to ensure property division is done properly. There are several forms of discovery. It can be informal, as when a written letter is sent to the opposing party to request various items. It is also formal, as guided by the rules of civil procedure in any given state.

Having a solid understanding of the discovery process is important to ensure one makes full use of the power of the court in gathering valuable information. This is particularly important when a party resists turning over documentation or only provides incomplete responses to requests.

In addition to having sound knowledge of how to navigate the discovery process, an experienced attorney also knows how to look for potential signs of asset-hiding and how to work around these tricks. For example, in some cases a party may be desperate enough to hide assets from the court that they interfere in the production of requested documents or falsify them before they are provided to the court and the opposing party.

In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this topic, and why it is so important to work with a skilled attorney in property division proceedings. 

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What will an attorney do to ensure my spouse doesn’t hide assets from the court? | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC