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What if my spouse lies about finances during our divorce?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2022 | Divorce

Property division is one of the most complicated aspects of divorce for Carlsbad couples. You and your spouse are both legally required to make an honest disclosure of your assets, debts and income as part of your divorce. This is typically done through a written document known as financial disclosure.

The purpose of this requirement is to make sure the court has an accurate view of the financial situations of you and your spouse, to make fair and equitable property division decisions. There are many reasons spouses lie or do not disclose all information in financial disclosure.

Why spouses lie about money or property

Spouses worried about paying a high amount of alimony or child support may report lesser income than they earn or inflate their expenses. A spouse who wants to keep a certain piece of valuable property may have to pay the other spouse a portion of the property’s value as part of a settlement agreement. They may not report the asset to avoid making this payment, or risk having to give the asset to the other spouse.

If you think your spouse is lying about their financial situation, or deliberately hiding assets, there are many available options. You should immediately tell your divorce attorney about any errors or incomplete information in your spouse’s financial disclosure.

Utilizing the discovery process

Your attorney can use the discovery process to help uncover hidden assets or obtain full information on your spouse’s finances. Interrogatories are part of the discovery process. They are written questions your spouse must answer under oath. A deposition requires your spouse to answer questions orally while under oath.

If you believe your spouse is providing false or dishonest answers to discovery, you can hire a forensic accountant to do a deep dive into discovering your spouse’s assets.

There are various remedies a court may order if you prove your spouse is hiding assets or being dishonest about their finances. A judge can award you more than they otherwise would, or in the case of a hidden asset, award you the asset as a way of penalizing your spouse.

Property division can quickly become more complex than anticipated. An experienced property division attorney ready to fight for your right to a fair outcome can help.