During the process of divorce in British Columbia, each spouse must provide full disclosure of all his or her assets. Sometimes, one spouse may try to slant the property division for his or her personal benefit by hiding assets. Although this is not a phenomenon limited to a high-asset divorce, the many levels of investments held by affluent couples may make it easier to leave some assets undisclosed.
With the appropriate legal assistance, a British Columbia spouse can ensure his or her spouse does not hide any assets. The spouse who handled the family finances and taxes may have an advantage when it comes to identifying assets for property division. Both spouses are expected to provide asset declarations voluntarily, but it is advisable to study such a document carefully. If any omissions of errors are present, the suspecting spouse can demand copies of financial records for which court-issued subpoenas may be required.
A spouse also has the right to serve an ex with interrogatories — written questions that require truthful answers — within a specified time. He or she may personally inspect assets or use the services of professional appraisers if values of assets are disputed. In addition to being required to answer questions in writing, an ex can be compelled to give sworn testimony. Called a deposition, this testimony is typically admissible in court.
If a spouse suspects an ex of hiding assets, the most appropriate step may be to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer. The attorney will know which discovery tools are appropriate for achieving a fair outcome. With a seasoned lawyer’s guidance, a divorcing spouse may receive a fair share of property — regardless of whether it is a high-asset divorce or not.
Source: FindLaw, “Legal How-To: Finding Assets in a Divorce Case“, Daniel Taylor, Accessed on Dec. 2, 2016
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