Divorce can be complex, particularly if the divorce in question is high-net-worth. Once familial matters such as child custody and support are sorted, you and your spouse will move on to financial negotiations.
The more assets you have in your portfolio, the more complex these negotiations can be. California operates on the basis of community property laws, which generally means marital assets are split 50-50. For this to happen, the court requires full disclosure.
Occasionally, one spouse may fear giving the other their fair share and could attempt to hide assets. How can you tell if this is the case and what can you do about it?
Are valuable items missing?
Not all valuable items are vast in size. You and your spouse may have built up a collection of art and jewelry over the years, which all amounts to a large sum of money. You’re trying to take an inventory to provide the court with an accurate picture, but one of the paintings that were stored for safekeeping has disappeared. Your jewelry collection is also missing a few pieces. Where have these valuable items gone? Has your spouse concealed them from you and the family court?
Can you no longer access shared accounts?
Throughout the marriage, you and your spouse were always open about your financial activities. You discussed significant purchases together before going ahead. Since you decided to separate, all of this has changed. Now, your spouse is cagey over anything related to money and has even gone as far as to change passwords on joint accounts. This is serious as you are entitled to your share of these assets and this information must be fully disclosed to the courts.
One way to help ensure that you obtain a fair divorce settlement is to have legal guidance behind you. Doing this can also assist in uncovering hidden assets.