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How to deal with divorce when your spouse hides assets

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Divorce |

Divorce can be a complex process, especially when dealing with hidden assets and undisclosed financial accounts. In Maryland, full financial disclosure is required to ensure a fair division of property.

Unfortunately, some spouses may try to hide assets to avoid sharing them. Understanding how to handle these situations can help protect your financial future.

Identify hidden assets

Hidden assets can take many forms, including cash, real estate, investments, or valuable personal property. A spouse may try to conceal these by transferring ownership to a third party, underreporting income or opening secret bank accounts. To identify hidden assets, it is important to thoroughly review financial records, tax returns and any other relevant documents.

Use legal tools

Maryland law provides several legal tools to uncover hidden assets. During the discovery process, each spouse must provide detailed information about their financial situation. This includes producing documents such as bank statements, pay stubs and tax returns. If a spouse suspects hidden assets, they can request additional documentation through interrogatories, depositions or subpoenas. These tools can compel a spouse to reveal information they might otherwise try to hide.

Hire financial experts

In complex cases, hiring financial experts can be necessary. Forensic accountants specialize in tracing hidden assets and analyzing financial records. They can identify discrepancies and patterns that suggest asset concealment. Private investigators can also help uncover hidden assets by conducting surveillance or accessing public records. These professionals can provide valuable evidence to support a spouse’s claims in court.

Legal consequences

Hiding assets in a divorce case can have serious legal consequences. If a court finds that a spouse deliberately concealed assets, it can impose penalties. These penalties may include awarding a larger share of the marital property to the other spouse or ordering the payment of legal fees. In extreme cases, a spouse could face criminal charges for perjury or fraud.

Protect yourself

To protect against hidden assets, it is important to act quickly and remain vigilant. Keeping detailed financial records and monitoring accounts can help track assets. A divorce attorney can help you navigate the discovery process, hire necessary experts and present a strong case in court.

Handling hidden assets and undisclosed financial accounts in a divorce requires diligence and the right legal strategies. By taking proactive steps, a spouse can ensure a fair and equitable division of property.