Help! I’m divorcing a spouse who’s hiding assets…
“They’re hiding assets…” is an all-too-common phrase heard by Jacksonville Divorce Attorneys.
If your spouse is trying to treat you unfairly, take a deep breath- Florida law is on your side. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement, Florida law mandates a “fair” distribution of all marital assets.
In accordance with Florida’s equitable distribution law, both parties involved in a divorce are obligated to disclose all assets and liabilities. This entails providing a comprehensive financial affidavit along with various supporting documents, such as tax returns, pay records, property deeds, bank statements, brokerage account statements, retirement account statements, life insurance policies, lease agreements, loan records, and investment-related documents like stocks or bonds. The obligation to disclose extends throughout the divorce process, requiring both parties to update records as their financial circumstances evolve.
Despite these legal obligations, some spouses may attempt to set aside funds and assets to minimize the share they are required to pay. Detecting such deceptive practices is crucial. Hiring an experienced attorney will help you investigate, uncover, and document, suspect behavior- ensuring you’re treated fairly under Florida state law.
Do you suspect your spouse is hiding assets? Here are some of the most common actions to look for:
- Concealing money or property in safe deposit boxes
- Offshore transfers
- Hoarding unreported income
- Fraudulent transfer of assets to a third party
- Fabricating business expenses and losses.
- Creation and repayment of a fictitious debt
- Outright denial of the existence of an asset
Many of these actions leave behind a trail of evidence. Recognizing the indicators can assist in identifying red flags that suggest asset concealment.
If you find yourself going through a divorce and suspect that your spouse is hiding assets- your attorney, in collaboration with a forensic accountant, will scrutinize financial statements, tax returns, and other relevant documents for inconsistencies. If funds have been removed or transferred, an experienced legal team will trace their location. In cases where deceptive practices are uncovered, your attorney can petition the court for an injunction to prevent further concealment of assets.
Dealing with a spouse who’s concealing assets is not uncommon in Florida divorce proceedings. As stressful as it can be, rest assured that a quality divorce attorney will attain a desirable outcome. The Florida legal system affords your attorney a great deal of power to locate and recover missing assets. If the court determines that a spouse is deliberately hiding or withholding financial information in violation of disclosure duties- consequences such as contempt charges, fines, and imprisonment may be imposed. Perjury charges may apply if false statements are made under oath, and criminal fraud charges may be pursued for concealing assets from the IRS. Additionally, the spouse concealing assets may be required to cover court costs and your attorneys’ fees as part of the repercussions.
Let’s Discuss Your Case
Is your spouse hiding assets? Call and schedule your free strategy session today! With over 25 years of local experience, Patricia and her team are Jacksonville’s best source for answering your divorce related questions. As Jacksonville’s preeminent legal counsel in the field of Family Law, we represent women and men facing divorce in Duval, Clay, and St. John’s counties.