Finding Hidden Income and Assets
Marriages don’t always go as planned—or hoped for—and neither do divorces. One spouse may try to “game” the process of dissolving a union by hiding assets that should be counted as marital property and thus divided in an equitable fashion. This can especially be the case when one spouse took charge of all accounting during the time of marriage, leaving his or her partner to be what is referred to as the “out-spouse,” as in out of the financial loop.
But even in a marriage wherein the partners purport to share financial information such as income, savings, acquisitions, and retirement and savings accounts, that doesn’t prevent one or the other spouse from using various tricks and deceits to hide assets so they won’t be subject to equitable distribution during divorce.
If you’re contemplating divorce, or are already in the process in or around Omaha, Nebraska, and you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, perhaps even income, contact us at Abrahamson Law Office.
We are family law/divorce attorneys who can help you uncover any hidden assets using perfectly legal methods that will make for a more just dissolution of the union and distribution of marital property. We also proudly serve clients in the counties of Sarpy, Douglas, Washington, Saunders, Otoe, and Dodge.
Division of Assets in Nebraska
Nebraska is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you need only cite that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” One or the other spouse, however, must have been living in Nebraska for one year in order to file. Nebraska is not a community property (a 50/50 division) state, but it aims for an equitable division of everything acquired during the time of divorce, whether assets or debt.
It is entirely possible for the partners in a marriage to come up with their own plan for equitable distribution and present it to the court for approval. However, if you suspect your spouse of hiding things, that’s probably not a wise approach. Instead, you need to work with an experienced divorce attorney to use every legal tool available to uncover any hidden assets.
Commonly Hidden Assets or Income
If one is so inclined, just about anything can be hidden, or at least undisclosed or unrevealed. Cars and boats can be purchased and recorded in the name of a friend, associate, or even an outside-of-marriage paramour. Of course, to do this, there must be some kind of cash or credit transaction that took place and that can ultimately be traced.
Safe deposit boxes, unknown to the other spouse, can contain traveler’s checks, cash, jewelry, CDs, savings bonds, and the like. The spouse may also collude with his or her employer to delay bonuses or commission checks until after the divorce is finalized. If the spouse owns a business, he or she can write checks for nonexistent employees to offset the actual cash available, or just skim the profits and pocket some cash. If there’s a lucrative deal on the table, it can be delayed until after the divorce.
Uncovering the Truth: The Divorce Discovery Process
In any criminal or civil trial, there is something known as the discovery process. This is a legal technique designed to ensure that each side of the crime or dispute knows what the other side knows and therefore can prepare properly.
The process often commences with a set of questions called interrogatories that the other side is asked to answer. A legal sidekick to interrogatories is what are called “requests for admission.” For instance, a request for admission might ask: “Did you or did you not aim to conceal income by delaying your commission check?”
Your attorney, under discovery, can also make demands on your spouse for document retrieval such as for financial records and tax returns, and even make demands for the physical inspection of things like safe deposit boxes.
Perhaps the strongest tool, since it is done under oath, is to call your spouse in to give testimony. This is not done in court, but often in a conference room or an attorney’s office. However, a court reporter will be on hand to make a formal record of everything that transpires. Again, your spouse will be sworn in to tell the truth under oath.
Trusted Legal Guidance
If you suspect your spouse of hiding income or assets during a divorce, you should rely on experienced legal counsel to help you get to the truth. There are tools available, as described above, that can lead to uncovering those assets.
If you’re in a divorce, or considering one in or around Omaha, Nebraska, and you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets or income, contact us at Abrahamson Law Office. Our father-daughter legal team will help you find those assets and work toward a truly equitable distribution of marital property.