Most couples in California who consider divorce seek to be above-board in their dealings with each other. This means that they are willing to disclose all assets and debts as part of the process of negotiating a fair settlement. Unfortunately, some spouses are unwilling to be forthcoming with this information, which can complicate a divorce.
Divorces involving significant assets can be particularly challenging in this regard. Spouses may have multiple accounts and investment products, and it can be tricky for their attorneys to get a full grasp on the couple’s entire financial picture. As a result, some marital assets may be overlooked when it comes time to divide them.
The high emotions around the time of the divorce can mean that spouses end up leaving assets behind because they just aren’t aware of them. Some spouses are intimidated by the whole legal process and may simply acquiesce to what the other party wants. However, the ccourts do frown on hiding assets, and there is a general principle that both sides must disclose their finances so that a fair settlement can be reached.
A spouse who believes that there are non-disclosed marital assets to which he or she may be entitled may wish to speak with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the case and make recommendations regarding strategies for discovering assets, including hiring a forensic accountant or even a private investigator.
If it is revealed that a spouse is hiding assets, an attorney may also be able to assist in negotiating or renegotiating a fair asset division. This may allow both parties to walk away from the marriage in a good position to rebuild their lives.