When you file for a divorce at the Harris County family court, you and your spouse are expected to report all of your assets and debts. Doing so helps to make sure that both spouses leave the marriage with an equivalent share of marital property.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop some people from trying to hide assets during the financial disclosure process–especially in high-net-worth circumstances. Failing to fully disclose your assets in an honest manner is illegal, and if you suspect that your spouse has hidden or fraudulently withheld assets in your divorce, your concerns may be valid.
Luckily, there are some steps you can follow to look into your matters. With the help of our experienced divorce attorneys in Houston, TX, it may be even easier.
The Most Common Hidden Assets in a Divorce
Your spouse can have an easier time hiding certain assets over others. These include, but are not limited to:
- Insurance policies (and cash value)
- Traveler’s checks
- Municipal bonds
A spouse could also attempt to conceal personal or real property, such as jewelry, collectibles, art, and boats.
How a Person Can Hide Assets in Divorce
There are various ways a spouse can hide or conceal assets in a divorce, either on their own or with assistance from third parties. This includes:
- Converting Cash
- Paying Phony Debts
- Using a Business to Conceal Assets
- Using A Child’s Financial Account
The Discovery Process Explained
If you feel as if your spouse is keeping assets from you, chances are he or she will not have the willingness to come forward and show those assets and financial records.
Throughout your divorce, your lawyer will try to access this information through what is referred to as a discovery process. This process is how your attorney can formally request your spouse’s financial records. The court can get involved in getting your spouse to give the essential information if they continue to be uncooperative.
The basic steps of the discovery process include:
- Request for documentation: Your attorney will ask for access to particular files like tax returns, bank statements, income statements, loan applications, or any other information that may be worth mentioning to get a better idea of your family’s finances.
- Interrogatories and requests for admission: These are approaches your attorney can take to make your spouse offer specific details. Interrogatories are written questions about particular topics that your spouse is required to answer, while a request for admission aims to have your spouse either assess or deny a piece of information.
- Depositions: If your spouse still isn’t cooperating and refuses to give you or your lawyer the information that was asked for, you can make a claim to have your spouse be sworn in as well as grant their testimony under oath. Close to an interrogatory, your spouse could be accused of perjury if they are dishonest.
The Houston Law Offices of Douglas Ray York, P.C. Can Be Your Helping Hand Throughout the Process Of Your Divorce
Distinguishing and finding a spouse’s assets can be one of the most trialing aspects of the divorce process. This is especially the case if you try to investigate your suspicions alone. If you believe that he or she is hiding assets or income from you, it is in your best interest to get in touch with a hardworking, experienced Houston, TX divorce attorney.
Our Texas family law attorneys are here to help you fight for what you deserve in your divorce. At The Houston Law Offices of Douglas Ray York, P.C., we have the combined family law experience and have handled many cases involving everything from hidden assets and income to fighting for sole child custody. To have one of our attorneys evaluate your case, reach out to us today to set up your consultation.