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What You Can Do If a Spouse Hides Assets from You During a Divorce

Dividing property is a difficult enough endeavor. It can take a lot of time to decide what marital property or divisible property is, and what assets and debts are separate property. The process is even harder when you and your spouse cannot find all the pertinent information. Worse still is when a spouse tries to conceal financial information in order to keep you from getting your fair share. The good news is that even if you are the "out-spouse", you can take legal action to get full financial disclosure.

"Out-spouse" is the term that can refer to a spouse who does not deal with the bookkeeping, while the other spouse does deal with the finances. If you think your spouse might be keeping back some financial information, you should talk with your divorce attorney. You may be able to start what is known as a discovery process.

With the help of a lawyer, it may be possible to ask your spouse to submit financial documents, which can include tax returns, records for the savings account, etc. This can give you the full financial picture you need. You might also be able to write "interrogatories", a fancy word for questions, which your spouse would have to give written answers to. There are also ways you could gain access to safes and private collections.

You might also want to ask for an oral deposition. This is where you, your spouse, and your respective lawyers have an interview, which is recorded by a court reporter. If your spouse lies at the deposition, this could lead to perjury charges, since the testimony given at the deposition is under oath.

You may very wells need the help of the court if your spouse will not comply with your requests for full financial disclosure. A court can enforce the discovery process through penalties, such as fines, for example. An experienced Raleigh divorce lawyer can help you decide what actions to take if your spouse could be hiding assets. If you have any questions about your options in a divorce, please do not hesitate to contact the Hopper, Hopper & Mulligan, PLLC.

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