When one spouse is blindsided with a divorce, life gets turned upside down for them. Discovering that behind the request is a well-thought-out plan makes it even more difficult. Taken completely off-guard, the responding spouse is simply trying to get their footing and deal with the situation when they realize that their (presumed) partner has been planning a divorce for some time– and that means that many steps have been taken to get to this day.
One of the most common steps is the hiding of assets. If the decision to divorce has been in the works for some time, the spouse initiating the divorce has had time to hide money, stock, and other financial assets.
So when the interrogatories outlining marital assets in a divorce case are completed, those assets that have been squirreled away may not get included in the list.
There may be assets that the unsuspecting spouse has forgotten about – or may have no knowledge of in the first place.
Asset investigation is one service provides on a regular basis. In fact, here in Indiana, there is a 6-year statute of limitation on discovery. If a search for assets uncovers hidden bank accounts within that time frame, an attorney can request that the divorce be set aside and reopened in front of the same judge. If that happens, the spouse who did not disclose the assets can be found guilty of perjury and fraud – and the other spouse could demand a portion equal to 50% or more!
It would be prudent for every spouse, no matter how surprised by a divorce, take steps to find hidden assets.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations