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Family law: Secretive spouses and hidden assets in divorce

| Jan 1, 2019 | Family Law |

It is often reported that January is the month in which many people file for divorce. Some family law attorneys say that the holidays might be the final straw in marital relations that are already scarred. In other cases, couples with children postpone the filing to avoid spoiling the celebrations for their children. Regardless of the reason or when a divorce is filed in Washington, one or both spouses might be concerned about hidden assets and bank accounts.

As a part of the divorce process, both parties must fully disclose all their assets for the purpose of fair property division. Assets typically include bank accounts, real estate, business interests, vehicles and even Bitcoin accounts. The place to start is to scrutinize the bank accounts that the spouse does submit for red flags such as transfers into other bank accounts. It might also be wise to request any monthly statements that are missing because they might have been held back for a reason.

If one spouse still believes that assets remain hidden after examining voluntarily disclosed documents, a formal request can be filed for interrogatories to get truthful answers. This offers the opportunity to demand tax filings, trust and estate documents, bank account statements, and other documents. An example of information that might be obtained in this way is a tax document that indicates a refund that was deposited into a secret bank account.

All these tactics might seem overwhelming, but an experienced Washington family law attorney can assist. Legal counsel can get more answers from a secretive spouse by way of deposition. This will have the spouse answering questions under oath, which might be the only way to uncover assets that remain hidden.