During a divorce, a couple must divide up their marital assets. While this can happen out of court through mediation or collaborative divorce, a family division judge most commonly is responsible to ensure a fair and equitable distribution. As part of the division of assets and property, both spouses must make a full disclosure of all assets that they are in possession of. Unfortunately, some spouses may try to hide certain assets in order to avoid division, or to avoid a larger spousal support obligation. If you’re seeking divorce in New Hampshire, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Michael F. Mimno can help you find hidden assets during divorce.
Common Assets Hidden During a Divorce
Some assets are much easier to hide than are others. Some of the most common asset types to remain undisclosed to a spouse include cash, stocks and bonds, insurance policies, and variable annuities. Sometimes, expensive collectible – such as an art collection – may also be hidden.
The Divorce Discovery Process
One of the most straightforward ways of finding hidden assets during a divorce is through the discovery process. The discovery process takes place after one party files for divorce, and is the process of discovering financial information about the other party. During discovery, the parties’ legal representatives can make requests for bank statements, credit card bills, tax returns, paycheck stubs, receipts, and all other financial documents. All of these documents are used to discover asset value, as well as earning capacity. In addition to gathering financial data, an oral deposition will also take place. During an oral deposition, the party being deposed is required to give testimony under oath regarding their financial assets. If an individual lies under oath, they can face charges for perjury.
The Importance of Discovering Hidden Assets
In New Hampshire, the court considers everything that is owned by a married individual, regardless of when it was acquired, to be part of the marital estate subject to distribution. New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated Chapter 458, Section 16-a. The amount of assets that a couple has will influence how assets are divided, spousal support payments, and child support payments in the event of a legal separation or divorce. If assets are hidden, a spouse may suffer from a non-equitable amount of assets allocated, or a non-equitable child support or alimony order.
Let an Andover Divorce Attorney Help You Discover Hidden Assets
When seeking a divorce, legal representation is a must. When choosing an attorney to represent you, you need a legal advocate who has experience in divorce law, and is passionate about making sure your rights are adequately represented. Getting a divorce is complicated, but discovering hidden assets doesn’t have to be. To learn more, call the attorneys at The Law Offices of Michael F. Mimno today at 978-470-4567.