- Family Law Overview
- Division of Assets
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Divorce Modifications
While the goal for many when divorcing is to get through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible, the unfortunate reality is that sometimes divorces get ugly. One of the most common ways that spouses may try to hurt each other or get the upper hand – aside from arguing over parenting and custody issues – is when it comes to the distribution of marital assets. Some spouses become so focused on “beating” their spouse that they use any means necessary to win, including hiding assets. If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets, there are multiple methods one can use to try and discover the wrongdoing, either on your own or with professional help.
Methods Your Attorney Can Use
In a divorce, your attorney is your first weapon if you suspect your spouse has committed some financial misdeed. There are multiple legal documents used during the civil process of divorce, especially during discovery, where each party is bound by law to tell the truth under penalties of perjury. They must do so in very specific ways, providing very specific information. Both parties are bound to comply with any discovery request that the court deems “reasonable.”
If your attorney tailors their discovery requests appropriately, you can request significant amounts of information from your spouse. Written interrogatories, for example, are a common tool used during discovery where a party will be asked to answer questions or confirm or deny a given statement.
Another common tool is inspections of assets, like collections or safety deposit boxes, that may be inspected by either party at any time in most divorce cases. That inspection may or may not turn up information pointing to embezzlement or other property-related wrongdoings. Depositions of your spouse or of relevant financial professionals can also shed light on potential issues that your attorney can use to further investigate for evidence of that wrongdoing.
Methods Involving Outside Professionals
If you believe there has been asset misappropriation on a grand scale, your attorney may want to call in professional help, such as a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant is a financial professional who is also versed in how to spot potential fraud or other financial-related crimes. They have the capability to investigate asset transfers and other potentially unethical behavior, especially if there is a family business involved.
Forensic accountants and CPAs can also work hand in hand with other professionals like business valuation experts and tax lawyers. The key to discovering hidden assets is to search for patterns, and different financial experts may hold the key to different patterns. It may seem excessive to hire outside help, but sometimes a financial tangle can exist that is so complex that more minds are better.
Contact Our Office Today
If you have made the decision to divorce your spouse and suspect they have been hiding marital assets, you need a seasoned Rhode Island divorce attorney advocating for you and ensuring your best interests are protected. Call Kirshenbaum Law Associates at 401-467-5300 for a confidential consultation and find out how our firm can help.
Our legal team wishes you and your family a happy and safe holiday season!
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