The idea that marriage is a holy union between two people who trust each other completely, has unfortunately been going out of style for a while now. Divorce rates in America have not shown any signs of improvement in years past, with the state average sitting at 44%. Many spouses going through this painful process claim to have "never seen it coming" and feel utterly blindsided. If you feel the same way, you may be missing clear warning signs. If you believe that your spouse is concealing assets from you, this could be an indication that they are planning on a divorce in the future. Not only are you going to face emotional pain, you may also suffer financial losses because of your spouse's conduct. Being the "out-spouse", the one unaware of the possible assets being tucked away, is a disadvantageous position. Taking steps at the first sign of deceit, however, can help you swing the tide in your favor.
What Is the Discovery Process and How Does It Help Me?
After discovering the truth about the concealed assets, you may feel confused and angry. It is, however, important to not let your emotions get in the way. Instead, try to sit your spouse down and talk honestly with them about the situation. Your willingness to be civil in this trying situation may do the trick in a clean and quiet manner.
If that doesn't go over as smoothly as you were hoping, it is time to consider using the "discovery process", a fairly standardized series of steps divorce attorneys take in order to reveal hidden assets. Getting legal help on your side now, before beginning the discovery process, can save you both trouble and time.
If you hire an attorney to help with the discovery process, they will likely start by asking for all hidden documentation, especially tax related ones. With a lawyer on your side, your spouse may be convinced of the dishonesty and unlawfulness of their actions and choose to stop before it gets worse.
Beyond that, your attorney may submit written "interrogations" that the spouse must answer in writing. This essentially serves as an early testimony on paper. Your attorney may also inspect certain properties, as the value of these can be high and the last thing you want is to miss out on property that you have a right to.
Lastly, your attorney may petition the court to hear your spouse's testimony in court under oath. It might seem extreme but sometimes a courtroom may be the only way to get the unfiltered truth from someone.
What Do I Do Now?
If you haven't yet secured legal representation, it is imperative that you do this right away. The sooner you do, the more effectively this process can be resolved. You deserve to have your rights protected and this can be difficult without an attorney on your side.
Whether you have proof of concealed assets or simply suspect that your spouse is hiding things from you, reach out to our firm! Our Pasadena divorce attorney has over 30 years of legal experience and is eager to help you reach a favorable outcome.
Contact the Law Office of Fritzie Galliani, APC today at (626) 314-6738.