Finding Hidden Income & Assets

Couples who file for divorce in California are expected to divide their marital property – assets acquired during the course of the marriage – equally. However, not everyone is honest about their finances or the number of assets they own. To avoid sharing with their estranged partner, some spouses hide their income and assets. 

Fortunately, divorcing spouses who suspect financial secrecy can find hidden income and assets with some help. A knowledgeable California family law attorney can assist with the divorce discovery process and help get the other party to reveal everything they should.

At The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer, we're committed to offering experienced legal guidance and brilliant advocacy to clients in family law matters, including divorce and property division. Our trusted attorneys can help investigate all financial accounts, personal and business transactions, and joint tax returns as they seek to uncover any hidden assets and finances. Also, we will guide you through the divorce discovery process and fight diligently to help recover what rightfully belongs to you. We're proud to serve clients across San Jose, Morgan Hill, Hayworth, Fremont, Santa Clara County, and Alameda County, California.

Division of Assets in California

Under California’s community property rules, marital property must be divided equally between the spouses (if there is no written agreement). To achieve this in a contested divorce, the court may consider the following factors:

  • The duration or length of the marriage
  • Each spouse's physical condition and mental health
  • How and when specific marital assets were acquired
  • Both spouses’ incomes
  • The ability of each spouse to earn income
  • The contribution of each spouse to the accumulation of assets
  • The contribution of each spouse to the marriage
  • Whether the court awarded alimony to either spouse
  • Whether the court awarded child custody to one spouse
  • Other factors deemed necessary to consider

An experienced California divorce attorney can evaluate your unique situation, determine whether there are any hidden assets, and guide you through the asset distribution process.

Commonly Hidden Assets or Income

Below are some of the most common assets that are hidden before or during a divorce:

  • Real estate property
  • Bank accounts
  • Pension plans
  • Cash
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Life insurance with cash value
  • Retirement funds
  • Additional income made from rentals, investments, or royalties

A skilled lawyer can work to uncover any hidden asset and income and help protect your best interests.

Uncovering the Truth

Under California laws, it is illegal and unethical for couples to hide assets and income before or during a divorce. If you believe that your partner lied about their income and assets, it is crucial that you speak with your legal counsel immediately. Your lawyer can work together with a qualified forensic accountant and seek to review and investigate:

  • All personal and business transactions
  • Complete statements for all of your financial accounts
  • Any business or personal loans obtained recently
  • Joint income tax returns

However, when trying to uncover hidden assets, you should only investigate areas you have legal access to. Our attorneys can explore your possible legal options and help you understand the divorce discovery process.

The Divorce Discovery Process

In divorce proceedings, the discovery process is a formal, legal process used to obtain relevant information or documents or get the other party to admit to particular statements. Here are some methods involved in the discovery process:

Request for Financial Documents: Lawyers can ask for certain financial documents from your partner, including:

  • Income tax returns
  • Account statements
  • Financial records
  • Loan applications

Request for Answers to Written Questions: This requires your estranged partner to give answers to written questions referred to as "interrogatories" or "requests for admission." Your spouse can either:

  • Answer the questions in writing, or
  • Admit to specific accusations that you believe to be possibly true

Demand an Inspection: You can request for an inspection of any property or belongings that your estranged spouse owns, including:

  • Safe deposit boxes
  • Wine collections

Give Testimony Under Oath: You can ask your estranged partner to give testimony under oath through an oral deposition. Every party, including you, your partner, and your attorneys, will appear before a court reporter. Your spouse must answer all questions asked by your legal counsel under oath.

A knowledgeable divorce attorney can help investigate transactions and financial accounts that you have legal access to and guide you through every step of the discovery process.

Working With an Experienced Family Law Attorney

Hiding income and assets during divorce makes it quite difficult for the couples to achieve a fair settlement agreement. However, uncovering hidden assets or finances may present different challenges. Therefore, if you suspect your estranged spouse of financial infidelity, hiring an experienced divorce attorney is important for detailed guidance to protect your best interests.

At The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer, our attorneys have devoted their careers to helping couples navigate complex divorce proceedings involving financial infidelity. As your legal counsel, we can work to understand your specific issues and determine the best way to uncover any hidden assets or income. Our trusted attorneys will work intelligently to recover what is rightfully yours and help you negotiate a fair settlement arrangement with your estranged spouse.

If you believe that your partner lied about their assets or income, contact The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer today to schedule a simple consultation. Our dedicated attorneys can provide you with the experienced legal counsel and strong representation you need to navigate important decisions in your case. We're proud to serve clients across San Jose, Morgan Hill, Hayworth, Fremont, Pleasanton, Santa Clara County, and Alameda County, California.


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