Family Matters Law Group offers Legal Snacks, a video resource for current and potential clients to learn the basics of a legal topic. By staying informed, our clients have more efficient and productive office visits and can provide valuable support in their case.
This month’s legal snack addresses the concept of hidden assets and how finding them, with the help of an experienced attorney, can make a huge difference in your divorce proceeding.
First, let’s hear from Edidiong Aaron, the founder of Family Matters Law Group:
Mrs. Aaron addressed two key questions in this video. They are:
Hidden assets are exactly what they sound like: assets that are being hidden from the court in order to reduce the amount of required property division, alimony or child support. It’s a way of cheating a spouse out of their fair share of marital assets or post-divorce payments.
The search for hidden assets begins during discovery, when an attorney requests financial records from the other party. These financial record requests are very comprehensive, covering everything from bank records and tax returns, to W-2 forms and financial documents for investments and retirement accounts.
Hopefully, the party responds with accurate records in a timely fashion. However, as we saw in the video, if the documents are not forthcoming, it is appropriate to subpoena the requests.
It is never a good idea to be less than forthcoming with the court. Hiding financial information can carry some severe penalties from the judge, as we saw in the video.
In this particular case, when it was discovered that one spouse had hidden several bank accounts with thousands of dollars going unreported, the judge had to make an example of him. In this case, not only did he take a penalty in the form of increased child support, he also had to pay attorney fees and lost custody of his children.
The bottom line: it’s not worth it to hide assets, and an experienced family law attorney will catch you doing it every time.
When it comes to uncovering hidden financial information, an experienced attorney knows how to look for unreported assets and how to present that information to the judge without completely overwhelming him or her.
In a complicated divorce case, it is essential that you have counsel who can uncover the true financial picture of your household, but also distill thousands of pages of information into a format that the judge will find user-friendly.
If you reside in Henry, Clayton, or Fayette counties, or are in the Atlanta metro area, and suspect that your spouse has hidden assets, contact Family Matters Law Group today. With one phone call, we can set you up with an initial consultation and begin the process of leveling the playing field for you.
Don’t let your spouse present an inaccurate financial picture to the court. Let our firm fight for what is fair and equitable for you and your children!