One of the most important parts of a Maryland divorce is the negotiation for the distribution of marital assets. Even though many Maryland couples are honest during this process, disclosing all of their holdings and financial assets, some choose to be less than forthcoming when property division is at stake. Spouses are often able to hide business assets and other holdings, which can lead to property disputes during the divorce. Experts say there are a few ways to guarantee that your spouse is being honest during the property division phase of your split.
The easiest document for reviewing and identifying errors is the tax return. Check these returns and 1099 forms to evaluate holdings in Maryland and other bank accounts. Brokerage accounts with dividends may also fall into this category. Sometimes, spouses attempt to hide earnings they have obtained through investment accounts. A simple evaluation of tax records should reveal any dishonesty.
Other financial documents can also provide clues about your spouse’s financial picture. In some cases, these exes fail to fess up to their asset holdings in the financial affidavit, so it is important to double-check statements and pay stubs to ensure your spouse is being honest. You can check public records to find out whether your spouse holds any real estate that has not been disclosed, for example. You should also check your ex’s employment records for income, benefits, stock options and retirement provisions that could impact property division during the divorce.
One of the best tools in an attorneys’ arsenal is the ability to depose a spouse. This means that your ex will be under oath and must tell the truth about his or her true financial picture. If your spouse lies during the deposition, perjury charges could result. At that time, your ex can be approached with suspicious documents. He or she must tell the truth about these statements or risk criminal sanctions.
Do not accept your spouse’s financial affidavit without question. Instead, consider double-checking these and other documents to ensure that you get a fair share of your joint marital property.
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com, “Discovering hidden assets: What your spouse hasn’t disclosed during your divorce” Bonnie Sockel-Stone, Oct. 30, 2013