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What Do Lawyers Look For When Trying To Find Hidden Assets?


When going through a divorce, some spouses choose to hide assets. By doing so, a spouse can claim that they earn and have less than they do, reducing their child support and/or alimony obligations.

To find these hidden assets, lawyers rely on Florida’s mandatory disclosure laws and a careful examination of the financial documents a spouse provides.

What Is Mandatory Disclosure? 

The term “mandatory disclosure” refers to the fact that, when alimony and/or child support are requested, both spouses must produce documents that clarify the state of their finances.

Since the Florida courts rely on mandatory disclosure, both spouses must disclose the state of their finances. A spouse who fails to do so will not receive the alimony/child support they are requesting.

To disclose their finances, both spouses must produce a variety of documents. Some of the most important documents both spouses must produce are as follows:

  • Federal Tax Returns
  • State Tax Returns
  • Checking Account Statements
  • Savings Account Statements
  • Wages

Each one of these documents allows lawyers to substantiate specific claims that pertain to each spouse’s financial situation. By substantiating these claims, a lawyer can determine whether or not a spouse is being truthful about what they can, and cannot pay, as well as whether or not they are hiding assets.

Even though most spouses are honest, some are not. Some spouses choose to hide assets, so that they do not have to pay child support and/or alimony.

What Do Lawyers Look For When Trying To Find Hidden Assets? 

To ensure that a client receives the child support/alimony they are entitled to, lawyers go over the financial documents they receive. Doing so allows them to assess whether or not the spouse, whose documents they are going over, has hidden some of their assets.

When searching for hidden assets, lawyers pay close attention to the following:

  • Overpayments to services and institutions that issue refunds.
  • Safety deposit boxes and private/commercial safes.
  • The usage of platforms like PayPal, Venmo, and CashApp.
  • A noticeable decrease in the wages the spouse receives on a regular basis.
  • A large quantity of property and/r cash that has been declared as a “gift.”

Each one of the methods outlined above has been, and continues to be, used as a method to hide assets. By hiding assets using these methods, a spouse can claim they have fewer resources than they actually do, which will reduce the amount of alimony and/or child support they will be ordered to pay.

 What Happens When One Spouse Is Found To Have Hidden Their Assets?

 A spouse who is found to have hidden their assets has lied under oath. By lying under oath, they have committed perjury, which is a federal crime.

Even though it is unlikely a spouse will be tried for perjury, they may still face a number of consequences. Some of these consequences are as follows:

  • Being charged with a misdemeanor.
  • Being ordered to cover the other spouse’s legal fees.
  • Being ordered to award the other spouse more assets than they would normally have to.

Each one of these consequences will damage the spouse’s financial situation. For this reason, hiding assets, using any method, is unwise.

 Speak With A Tampa Divorce Lawyer 

No matter the method a spouse uses, hiding assets is a crime. Speak with a Tampa divorce lawyer today and we will assist you in determining whether or not your spouse is hiding assets.




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