When your marriage doesn’t work out as you’d hoped it would, life can get stressful. If you happen to be among other spouses in Maryland who have decided to go your separate ways rather than stay in an unhappy relationship, you’ll no doubt be making a lot of decisions in the coming months. Divorce is naturally disruptive and can be become highly stressful, especially if your spouse is trying to beat to the system when it comes to property division proceedings.
Hiding assets is unlawful because it is a form of perjury. To achieve a fair divorce settlement, you and your spouse must fully disclose all assets and liabilities. If your ex is trying to give you the short end of the stick, financially, you may want to bring the matter to the court’s attention.
The discovery process in a divorce
While every state has its own guidelines and laws regarding property division proceedings in a divorce, all states have rules about the discovery process. This process is essentially an exchange of documents and information between spouses in a divorce. A request for document production means that your ex has been asked to provide financial documents and perhaps other important information, such as documents pertaining to parental fitness or a child’s education or health needs.
Interrogatories must be answered in writing, under oath
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, he or she may be presented with either “form” or “special” interrogatories, which are questions that he or she must answer in writing, under oath. Falsifying answers could land your ex in contempt of court. A request for admission may also be part of the discovery process, whereby your ex is asked to either admit or deny something, such as whether he or she has attempted to hide assets.
Protecting your financial interests in a divorce
Wanting all that you’re entitled to in a divorce settlement doesn’t make you a selfish person. It merely means that you’re trying to protect what’s yours. If your ex gives someone a large amount of cash to hold so that the money isn’t subject to division, this is not only a mean trick, it’s unlawful. If you suspect that your ex is hiding assets, you can enlist outside support to further investigate the situation.
Especially if you have children, your property division settlement may affect your ability to provide for their needs after your divorce is finalized. You’ll be glad to know that the court doesn’t look favorably upon those who try to beat the system by undervaluing assets, stashing cash or otherwise not adhering to full disclosure rules. If you suspect this is happening, you can do something about it.