Getting divorced is one of the biggest life changes many people go through. Because you know your life will be immensely different, you want to give yourself the best chance possible of making the most out of your court proceedings, especially when it comes to getting your fair share of the assets.
Because California is a community property state, you are entitled to half of the marital assets, including those your spouse acquired during the course of your marriage. Of course, your spouse likely knows this, and as a result, he or she may have tried hiding assets in efforts to come out of the case better.
How do you know if there are hidden assets?
If your spouse has hidden assets, it is likely that he or she will not be truthful if you simply ask if there are any assets you do not know about. After all, hiding assets already indicates a lack of honesty, so it is unlikely that your spouse will suddenly unveil his or her secret stashes before the divorce begins. However, that does not mean that you are out of luck.
You and your attorney can work to find hidden assets by thoroughly reviewing the information provided from voluntary disclosures, which take place near the beginning of the legal proceedings. You can look over tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs or other documents that show the assets your spouse is accounting for. If you notice that transfers from one bank account to another have taken place but you do not have information for the receiving account, it may warrant a further look, for example.
Again, your spouse may not be entirely truthful even during voluntary disclosures relating to your divorce. As a result, you may want to have your attorney demand involuntary disclosures. These disclosures require that your spouse truthfully provide information regarding certain interrogatories.
When it comes to concerns regarding hidden assets, it is typically best to obtain advice from an attorney about your options for finding those assets. In many instances, it may take efforts from your legal counsel to get your spouse to disclose all pertinent information, including carrying out a deposition. You certainly do not want to end up cheated out of your rightful assets, and understanding your legal options is wise during this life-changing time.