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Ways to discover hidden assets before the division of property

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2024 | Family Law

One of the most challenging aspects of the divorce process for many Arizona spouses is the division of marital property. These matters can especially become a source of contention if you and your soon-to-be ex are involved in a high-asset divorce, where the total amount of marital property subject to division is greater than $1 million. These cases can involve a substantial amount of financial details and complexities, which creates the unfortunate potential for one of the parties to hide certain assets from the proceedings.    

The state of Arizona is a community property state where a court will divide all eligible property in an equal manner. Because of this, situations where a high-net-worth individual fails to fully disclose all his or her qualifying assets can have a significant financial impact on the ultimate divorce settlement. Thankfully, there are certain measures you can take to minimize the possibility of this happening during your divorce. 

Carefully scrutinize any voluntary disclosures  

You and your spouse will both most likely make a certain amount of voluntary asset disclosures early in the process. Thoroughly evaluating any disclosures made by the other party could potentially allow you to discover mistakes and omissions. Some of the most commonly omitted assets during this step in the proceedings include the following: 

  • Offshore bank accounts 
  • Real estate properties  
  • Vehicles purchased with limited to no paper trail 
  • Artwork 
  • Jewelry  
  • Stock options  

Assistance from a qualified forensics accountant could prove invaluable to your cause should there be any disputes over the proposed valuations of your partner’s disclosed assets.  

Other possible steps for you to take 

There are several other means at your disposal that might uncover hidden assets before the division of marital property. The use of interrogatories can legally require your soon-to-be ex to provide specific information regarding certain financial documents and accounts. You may also be able to depose your partner, forcing him or her to provide sworn testimony to the court during your divorce proceedings. Finally, the use of a private investigator and even some online searching on your own accord could potentially pay dividends. 

With all the complex issues involved and so much at stake financially, proceeding into a high-asset divorce can seem overwhelming and create many sleepless nights. Fortunately, there is professional guidance and support readily available to you that can provide you with much-needed peace of mind during these times while protecting your future best interests.