What happens if your spouse is hiding assets from you in your Florida divorce?
Unfortunately, not everyone behaves honestly when faced with dividing marital property in a divorce. Soon-to-be exes may try to conceal assets to keep for themselves. Or, they might even sell, give away or otherwise deplete or destroy property to remove it from the marital estate that is supposed to be equitably and fairly divided in the divorce proceedings.
This behavior can occur in a wealthy family with complex investments as well as one with more modest circumstances. But, no matter the financial means, Florida law requires full disclosure of all money and property for division in divorce and failure to do so can negatively impact the innocent spouse’s future standard of living.
Clues that a spouse might be hiding assets
An experienced divorce attorney will know what to look for in spotting patterns suggesting asset concealment and will have professional relationships with experts like forensic accountants, actuaries, appraisers and others to assist in the investigation and in accurate valuations. The client must make a careful inventory of money and property – as best they can remember – and each item assigned a current value. This may be more difficult if the couple kept separate finances during marriage or the other spouse handled the finances alone without much discussion of the details.
- Does the other spouse have a history of dishonesty or secrecy in financial or other important matters?
- Does the other spouse exclude the client from participating in investment or other important financial decision making?
- Do the nature and number of items in the other spouse’s financial disclosure seem unusual or less than expected?
- And other factors
In part 2 of this post, we will provide more information about hidden assets in Florida divorce proceedings.