Property division in a divorce is one of the most contentious issues for many couples. During the process, you identify all assets that you both own, determine their value and reach an agreement on how they should be distributed. Usually, marital property is distributed equitably in Michigan, unlike other states, which means “fairness” is emphasized over equality.
This sometimes prompts one spouse to hide some assets in a bid to keep them away from being divided. If your spouse is hiding assets from you (or you suspect that they may be) you need to take action to protect your interests.
How to discover hidden assets
There are several ways of discovering hidden assets. It can be as easy as requesting bank statements from the other spouse to detect unusual transactions, while in some cases, you may need the services of independent investigators. You can also employ formal discovery methods like subpoenas, depositions and financial investigators.
Hiding assets can be consequential
The courts normally frown upon this behavior. In fact, failure to disclose assets during a divorce proceeding may amount to fraud, which can be consequential. The court may award you the majority part or all the property that your spouse may have concealed. In addition, the court can order them to pay all costs associated with the discovery of the hidden assets, attorney fees or even hold them in contempt of court.
Given that a divorce is likely to impact your finances in the long term, it is crucial to safeguard your rights by ensuring that you get what you deserve following the dissolution of your marriage. Therefore, getting some of these things right will likely guarantee your financial peace of mind after everything is finalized.