When You Are In a Divorce, Post-Divorce, Child Support, or Alimony Situation
If you think your spouse is hiding assets, you need to take action. If you delay, the money or other valuables may disappear and be unrecoverable. Below are a few suggestions for things you can do both before (as you prepare for divorce) and after a divorce is filed. Do not despair, the law provides for full financial disclosure in a divorce.
Be Nosey. It is perfectly acceptable to fight back when your spouse is hiding assets. Look through your family’s financial records. A marriage is an equal partnership and as an equal partner you are entitled to know all financial information. Collect information such as names of banks where accounts or safe deposit boxes may be located. Write down account numbers. Try to discover income information. A spouse who works for a large corporation usually has an easily discoverable paper trail establishing income. It may be more of a challenge for a spouse who is self-employed or works under the table. Do the best you can but the more information you collect the better. Get copies of your tax filings and maintain a file.
After a divorce is filed the law provides for particular procedures that can be utilized to collect financial information. The next paragraphs discuss a few of your options.
Florida Family Law Rule 12.285 is called Mandatory Disclosure and requires each party in a divorce to file a sworn Certificate of Compliance disclosing financial information in 16 different categories. They include a financial affidavit, tax returns, income records, loan records, deeds, bank and retirement records, investment records, and records of credit card and other debts. This is an automatic procedure and is the first round of financial disclosure in a divorce.
Florida Family Law Rule 12.340 allows you to send written questions to the other party. You can send the standard interrogatories and up to 10 additional interrogatories. The questions must be answered under oath and within 30 days.
In addition to the documents produced under Mandatory Disclosure you can request any other relevant documents under Florida Family Law Rule 12.351. In this request, you can ask relevant documents even if the documents are from years ago.
Under Florida Family Law Rule 12.370 you can send written requests that a party admit or deny certain facts. For example, you can request a party admit or deny they made $150,000 in 2016.
Florida Family Law Rule 12.310 allows you to take the deposition of any party or witness in the case. The person being deposed must answer relevant questions under oath and with a court reporter present. The transcript of the deposition can later be used at trial.
There are many other ways to discover hidden financial assets and an experienced aggressive attorney knows how to look under every rock. Do not let your spouse cheat you out of your fair share of the marital assets. A greedy spouse can be quite creative in concealing assets. With over 120 years of combined experience the attorneys at Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden, and Kelley have seen just about everything. We know how to dig and dig to uncover hidden assets.
Call today for a free consultation. We are your local law firm and have been serving Brevard County for over 40 years. For your convenience, we have offices in Melbourne and Cocoa.