Even the most straightforward Divorce can difficult and highly emotional. Often, finances become an emotional and practical sticking point, and some people aren’t above hiding Assets that should be represented in the divorce process. If you think your spouse may be hiding assets, it’s imperative that you discuss the matter with an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible.
Inventory of Assets
After a petition for divorce has been filed in your case, you’ll both probably be asked to fill out a sworn inventory of assets. This list of assets is comprehensive:
- Cash and bank accounts
- Insurance and annuities
- Stocks and bonds
- Stock options
- Brokerage and mutual fund accounts
- Retirement benefits
- Closely held business interests
- Real estate
- Safe deposit boxes
- Possessions, including vehicles, jewelry, sporting goods, electronics, household furnishings, and firearms
- Contingent assets and liabilities
The list goes on, but there are plenty of areas where an unscrupulous spouse can take matters into his or her own hands and hide assets. The final inventories are poured into a spreadsheet that will guide your mediation or court proceeding. In other words, a significant portion of the terms of your divorce settlement or decree hinges upon the accuracy of those inventories.
If either you or your spouse has inadvertently left something off the asset inventory, one or the other of you will likely notice before you proceed to mediation or court, and it can be rectified. Mistakes happen, and if its later discovered that assets were accidentally left out of the settlement, you can divide those assets between yourselves; if you can’t come to an agreement, the court will revisit the issue.
If, on the other hand, your soon-to-be-ex deliberately leaves assets off the inventory—or even hides assets from you—it’s a different story. In such an instance, the court can factor such behavior (once discovered) into the division of marital property. Deliberately hiding assets is viewed as an act of fraud on the marital estate.
The Language of Your Divorce Decree
The language of your divorce decree will likely address the fact that both of you have completely disclosed your assets and debts and that those disclosures materially guided the agreements documented in the decree. Occasionally, a divorce decree will include stronger language that addresses the transfer of any undisclosed assets (that are discovered in the future) to the other spouse.
If You Believe Your Spouse Is Hiding Assets, You Need an Experienced Katy, Texas, Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is stressful enough, but if you have reason to believe that your spouse may be hiding assets in the process, it makes things that much more stressful. You don’t have to face this difficult situation alone, however. Attorney Frank J. Vendt at The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., in Katy, Texas, has the experience, knowledge, and commitment to aggressively advocate for your rights. Mr. Vendt will carefully go over your financial information with you and will help you address any suspicious absences or errors. To schedule a consultation with Mr. Vendt, please contact or call our office at (832) 276-9474 today.
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