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Legal terms you should know if you suspect a hidden asset problem

Protecting your rights and assets in divorce is no doubt one of your highest priorities. If you're a parent, then making sure proceedings focus on your children's best interests is also of paramount importance. When the time comes for the court to divide your marital property, problems (and stress) can arise if your spouse is not being honest. Hidden assets are a major problem in many Kentucky divorces, as well as in hundreds of other divorces throughout the nation.

Not only is this type of behavior mean-spirited, it is illegal, so it's crucial to know what options are available for rectifying hidden asset problems before they get out of hand. There are several legal terms that can lead you to possible solutions for uncovering hidden assets and making sure you get what is rightfully yours during property division proceedings in divorce.

Three important phrases regarding hidden assets

If your divorce includes litigation to solve marital property disputes, the court will likely require you to submit a full disclosure statement. This is known as the discovery process. The following information explains this topic further and can also point you in the right direction to quickly assess support if you suspect your spouse is trying to keep certain assets from being subject to division in court:

  • Voluntary asset disclosure occurs when both spouses submit extensive reports listing all their assets. You can review your spouse's list and request information regarding any assets you think might be missing as well as ask for valuations of assets you believe may be misrepresented in value on your spouse's list.
  • If you're not satisfied with the voluntary disclosure process, you may request an interrogatory. This is an involuntary procedure. The process involves you submitting questions regarding assets and the court giving your spouse a time limit for submission of answers to those questions. Your spouse is legally obligated to comply with interrogatories and must be honest in all answers given.
  • Interrogatories may address various asset issues, such as monies in bank accounts, tax information, estate or trust documents and any property titles your spouse possesses.
  • There's also a preliminary process that can help you uncover hidden assets. During a deposition, which is sworn testimony before a court reporter and each party's attorney, you may have your attorney question your spouse about particular asset issues. Your attorney can use anything your spouse says during the deposition as evidence in a marital property dispute.

Especially if you have high assets at stake, there is no reason you should have to sit back and do nothing if you believe your spouse is trying to give you the short end of the stick during property division proceedings. Kentucky is an equitable division state, meaning the court may not necessarily divide your marital assets 50/50. If your spouse succeeds in a hidden asset scheme, you may suffer great economic loss in your divorce.

Who can help?

Many Kentucky spouses have nipped hidden asset problems in the bud by turning to experienced family law attorneys for support. An attorney knows how to proceed to investigate such matters and can also determine the shortest, most viable path to a solution.

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Dietz & Overmann, PLLC
130 Dudley Road Suite 150
Edgewood, KY 41017

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