Florida Divorce: Hidden Assets
In Florida, the assets of a divorcing couple are divided in an equitable manner. Put simply, equitable distribution means that the marital assets must be divided ‘fairly’. A fair division of assets is often not an equal division of assets, however. By nature, this type of asset division process is complex, but it becomes all the more complicated when one partner attempts to hide assets. Divorcing couples have an obligation to be upfront and honest about their assets. If you believe that your partner is violating this obligation by hiding assets, please contact an experienced Orlando property distribution lawyer for immediate legal help.
Your Lawyer Can Help Expose Hidden Assets
There are several valuable legal tools available that your lawyer can use to help you find hidden assets and diverted income: They include:
- Analyzing records: First, you should have a lawyer comprehensively review all of the financial records, documents and information that you have from your marriage and your spouse. This is where you can start piecing together the puzzle to see whether or not their financial claims add up. Your lawyer will review their tax records, all business documents, all bank and investment account statements and all claims of expenses and debts. Assets do not simply vanish into thin air. Oftentimes, when a spouse hides assets, there is simply a major hole in their financial disclosures and their claims fundamentally do not make sense. On the other hand some spouses will try to hide assets in a more sophisticated manner. They might even use fake expense reports or attempt to subtly undervalue their assets. Either way, your lawyer can review the disclosures and determine how to proceed with discovery in order to get the information necessary to prove your case.
- Demanding financial documents: In Florida, the rules of civil procedure allow your lawyer to file a demand for the production of documents. When your spouse receives the demand for documents, they are legally obligated to comply. Obviously, if your spouse is attempting to hide assets, they will likely look for additional ways to keep these financial documents out of your possession. If this occurs, your lawyer may also need to file a motion to compel the documents, which can lead to a Florida court forcing your spouse to disclose this information.
- Conducting a deposition: If your spouse is hiding assets, putting them through a deposition can be a powerful tool to help you get to the truth. A deposition is oral questioning that is conducted under oath. It is official, and any information that comes out of it can be used in front of a Florida court. An experienced divorce attorney can often expose the lies and inconsistent statements in your spouse’s story.
- Subpoenaing financial records: Finally, your lawyer may be required to seek a subpoena for financial documents or records. The subpoena is not issued to your spouse, but instead to third parties such as financial institutions. When these institutions receive subpoenas they have a legal obligation to comply with them. This can help you find the information that your spouse was hiding all along.
Contact An Experienced Orlando Divorce Lawyer
At the office of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., our experienced divorce law team will help ensure that your marital assets are fairly divided in accordance with Florida law. If you have any questions or concerns about hidden assets in Florida, or divorce law in general, please contact our office today at (407) 521-7171.