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What will an attorney do to ensure my spouse doesn’t hide assets from the court? P.2

Last time, we began looking at the importance of the discovery phase of property division proceedings and the need for parties to work with an attorney who is familiar with the process and knows how to utilize it to ensure a full accounting of assets.

An experienced family law attorney knows, for instance, that it is important: to request documentation going far enough back that all relevant information can be gathered; to verify an opposing party’s assertions regarding assets when there is no documentation; to request information for the value of assets not only on the date of valuation, but in the months and years leading up to the valuation; and to request thorough documentation of non-marital assets. 

It is also important to know what documentation will be helpful in discovering missing assets. This is especially important in contentious divorces, but it can also be a problem in seemingly amicable divorces as well.

Some of the resources that can be helpful in locating hidden assets, and which should be sought out in discovery include:

  • State and federal tax returns and all schedules
  • Testimony of tax preparers/accountants
  • Retirement account documentation
  • Credit card statements and credit reports
  • County record of property transactions
  • Records of criminal and civil cases
  • Real estate closing and refinance documents

In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this topic, especially at using the discovery process to help ensure a spouse doesn’t hide assets in his or her business as well as some alternative means of hiding assets in divorce.

Source: Forbes, “Divorcing Women: Here’s Where Husbands Typically Hide Assets,” Jeff Landers, March 12, 2012. 

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What will an attorney do to ensure my spouse doesn’t hide assets from the court? P.2 | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC