While many divorce processes run relatively smoothly, and both spouses accurately provide property disclosures about their separate and marital assets, some divorces result in one or both spouses attempting to conceal assets so that they will not be divided in the divorce. Michigan law requires that all marital property be divided in a manner that is equitable to both spouses in the divorce.
Sometimes, one or both spouses will assume that a particular asset (or multiple assets) is likely to be classified as marital property, making it subject to division. In order to prevent the asset from being distributed, one of the spouses might try to conceal it. The process of concealing an asset can take many forms. In some situations, a spouse simply will not list the asset on required disclosures for the Michigan divorce, but it will still be easily locatable. In other scenarios, the spouse might gift the asset to a friend or family member with the intention of getting it back once the divorce is finalized, or might try to move it to a different location (especially, for example, money in a particular account or accounts). When you think your spouse might be trying to conceal assets, you should take the following steps.
Hire a Divorce Lawyer as Soon as Possible
If you do not already have a divorce attorney in Michigan representing you, now is the time to hire an advocate for your divorce case. As soon as you hire a divorce lawyer and tell your lawyer about your hidden asset concerns, your lawyer can begin taking necessary steps to identify the assets and to ensure that they are properly classified by the court.
Obtain Financial Documents
If you have not done so already, gather and copy any financial documents that are available to you and that could be helpful in identifying assets your spouse is trying to conceal. You should make copies of tax records, paycheck stubs, receipts, appraisals, bank statements, and any other documents that help to provide details about assets that your spouse is attempting to conceal. If you can prove that the asset is marital property, you can ensure that you are treated fairly in the divorce case when it comes to the division of marital property.
Learn About Forensic Accounting
Your divorce lawyer will provide you with the information you need to move forward with an investigation into concealed assets, but you should be thinking about how a forensic accountant can assist with your divorce. Forensic accountants are tasked specifically with identifying hidden assets in divorce cases in Michigan and across the country, and a forensic accountant can uncover assets that you might not even know existed.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Michigan
When you have concerns about concealed assets, the first thing you need to do is to get in touch with an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer. One of the Michigan divorce attorneys at our firm can begin working on your case today. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to learn more.