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Hidden Assets in Florida

When a spouse tries to conceal assets from the other in a divorce, they have a huge challenge. A spouse may not know of these hidden assets, which could give the other an unfair advantage. If the court does not know about an asset, it will not be able to properly divide those assets.

Common hidden assets can include hidden bank account statements, cash, jewelry, traveler’s checks, retirement accounts, overpayment of taxes, and many others. In many situations, one spouse is the default keeper of the financial records during the marriage. Unfortunately, this works directly against the trusting spouse in the case of a divorce.

Florida Hidden Assets Lawyer

If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets from you, our Florida divorce attorneys will question your spouse through oral depositions or written interrogatories in an attempt to discover those assets.

The Florida divorce lawyers of Quality Family Law take an extensive evaluation of your spouse’s financial records and develop strategies to expose hidden assets.  We may also employ financial experts, such as forensic accountants and private investigators if needed.

Contact the lawyers of Quality Family Law at (561) 557-8686 today to discuss your family law matters.

Florida Hidden Assets Information Center

What Assets and Finances do I have to disclose?

In a divorce, both parties have a court-imposed duty to disclose all financial information to the other spouse. Financial information and assets include the following: real property, personal property, retirement accounts, household furnishings, bank accounts, antiques, collectibles, business interests and other forms of property and income. 

When the parties have a high net worth, the estate may include assets that are more difficult to value like stock options, artwork, antiques or collectibles.  Sometimes one spouse will have a higher level of sophistication regarding financial matters meaning that they are more able to hide assets or cash in a business entity or through sham financial transactions.

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How Can I Prove that my Spouse has Hidden Assets?

Proving that hidden assets exist can be challenging. Some ways that an attorney may prove this include the following:

  • financial documents- Florida court rules allow spouses to make production request, which are formal documents filed with the court and sent to the other spouse to request listed documents. It is important that parting spouses collect as much financial information as possible before a separation.
  • deposition of a spouse- in this situation, both parties meet for a court-sanctioned question and answer session. This is an opportunity for the complaining spouse to conduct intensive questioning of the spouse who is believed to have hidden assets. Most depositions provide sufficient information to conduct a more detailed search for assets.
  • interrogatories- written questions directed towards the spouse hiding assets. They typically have about thirty (30) days to provide the answers.
  • subpoenas- This is an order to appear in court or to produce documents.

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Hidden Assets Penalties during a Florida Divorce

Upon discovery of a divorcing spouses’ hidden assets, they the spouse hiding assets will be assessed court cost, ordered to pay the legal or private investigator’s bill of the opposing spouse, and have any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements voided.

Apart from civil penalties, refusing to disclose all assets in a divorce proceeding may result in the party being held in contempt of the court. Contempt of court is a criminal accusation that may cause them to face fines or a jail sentence. If a spouse lied under oath it can also lead to perjury charges.

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Who may file for a divorce in Florida?

Depending on the evidence presented at a hearing, the court will place a petition for the dissolution of marriage.  If the responding party does not deny that the marriage is irretrievably broken or there are no minor children from the marriage, a divorce may be granted. If there are minor children or the other party denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may take other actions.

All parties in a dissolution of marriage proceeding, who have children that are minors or a paternity action that involves issues of parental responsibility shall be required to complete the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course prior to a court declares a final judgment. The court may excuse parties from attending the parenting course, or from completing the course within the required time, for a good cause.

A divorce will not be granted by the state unless one of the following conditions is met:

  • the marriage is broken and cannot be repaired
  • one of the parties is mentally incapacitated

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Additional Resources

Parent Education: Visit the parent education & family stabilization course’ website if you are interested in signing up for an online parenting class. It is important to speak with our lawyers before completing anything that may be later related to the agreements of your divorce.

Section 61.052: View the website of the Florida Senate to see regulations that relate to the dissolution of marriage. You will also find provisions for what to do when there is a minor involved.

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Find a Florida Hidden Assets Lawyer

The attorneys of the family law division of Quality Family Law exclusively practice family law matters.  Our attorneys are passionate about family law and believe that a quality representation does not have to result in financial devastation. They know how to successfully bring hidden assets to light and want to help you get a fair division of assets.

If you have any questions regarding property and debt issues in a Florida divorce proceeding, contact the experienced lawyers of Quality Family Law. Our family law division lawyers have an office located in West Palm Beach, FL.

We also serve clients in the North Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Wellington, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Palm Springs, and Boynton Beach areas. Call the lawyers of Quality Family Law at (561) 557-8686 today.

This page was last updated March 9, 2017

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