How to Locate Hidden Assets in a Divorce Proceeding
It’s a pretty common occurrence—when your spouse decides to file for divorce or learns that you plan to serve divorce papers, he or she starts hiding money or property in an attempt to keep it from being divided in court proceedings. If you suspect or know that your soon-to-be ex is hiding assets, here are some of the steps you can take to protect your interests.
Put Together a Comprehensive Inventory of Income, Expenses and Assets
To the extent possible, create a thorough accounting of all income and expenses during the last few years of your marriage, as well as an inventory of all assets. Identify those assets that were purchased during the marriage and distinguish them from any assets that you or your ex brought into the marriage.
Ask for Copies of All Financial Records
You can do this without the intervention of the court, but your spouse may not willingly comply, or may only provide limited information. If you have any reason to suspect that your spouse is not being totally forthcoming, you should ask your attorney to petition the court for the production of all financial records from your ex. If your ex is willing, but unable, to comply, you can jointly request copies of documents from relevant providers, such as banks, investment firms and creditors.
There are a number of “discovery” methods by which you can seek to obtain information about hidden assets. During the “discovery” phase of your divorce, the court allows you to use specific methods to gather all evidence related to your divorce. Among the different options available are:
- Requests for production of documents
- Written questions, called interrogatories, that your ex must truthfully answer
- Requests for inspection of property or asset storage facilities, such as safe deposit boxes
- Depositions, where your attorney questions your ex under oath about financial issues
Contact Morgenstern & Rochester
At Morgenstern & Rochester, our two partners have almost 50 years of combined family law experience. We are a boutique family law firm that takes a hands-on approach. When you hire us, you will always work directly with one of our partners, never with an inexperienced associate or a paralegal.