Even if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have substantial wealth, you may not always agree on all financial issues. After all, money matters and incompatibility are two of the more common reasons divorcing Americans cite for the ends of their marriage.
Robust assets are often easier to hide than more meager ones. Still, your spouse must disclose all marital assets to you and to the court. If you suspect your husband or wife may be trying to gain an unfair advantage during your divorce by hiding assets, there are ways to find them.
The pre-trial discovery process
Even though your marriage seems like a personal matter, it is a contract between you, your spouse and the state. Consequently, to end your marriage, you must either file a lawsuit or respond to one. Like with other civil litigation, you are likely to have the opportunity to go through pre-trial discovery. Your attorney may use one or more of the following to track down hidden assets:
- Requests for admissions
- Requests for production of documents
You, your spouse and your attorneys must follow specific rules during pre-trial discovery. If your spouse is not forthcoming, he or she may face contempt of court or other consequences.
A forensic accountant
Divorcing individuals who have considerable wealth often elect to employ the services of a forensic accountant. This professional can review financial documentation to locate hidden assets. Working with a forensic accountant may also boost your chances of receiving spousal support, especially if your spouse tries to downplay his or her salary or your marital lifestyle.
Florida law ultimately entitles you to an equitable share of the marital estate. By closely reviewing your spouse’s financial disclosures and questioning his or her deceptive behavior, you can be sure you end up with everything you deserve.