The "out spouse," or spouse that owns markedly less in way of assets and finances during the process of the divorce, is often left with the short end of the stick. To compound problems for him or her, the spouse with more in the ways of assets may have certain assets or property that they have hidden from the other party. There are, however, several legal ways in which you, as an out spouse, can force your spouse to reveal these hidden assets.
Before taking any legal recourse, it is best to simply ask your spouse for a thorough documentation of all of his or her assets. Your spouse should give you documentation of all of his assets, including the mortgage, car deeds, or any other salient pieces of property. There is little to say whether your spouse is lying to you or not about how thorough or truthful these documents are, however. At this point, you may need to take legal recourse.
If you harbor any suspicions that your spouse is hiding assets or property from you, then you should contact your attorney so you can begin the discovery process. The process of discovery can be lengthy and drawn out, but it is necessary in order to accomplish your goal of discovering all of your spouse's assets. The rubric and rules of discovery vary from state to state, but there are some generalities that tend to apply to all states. Discovery usually begins with a formal request for all documents that pertain to your shared financial situation. Among the documents that fall under this request include account records, loan agreements, tax returns, and financial statements. The second portion of discovery includes requests for admission. A request for admission is a legally binding document in which your spouse must answer some very specific questions about your shared financial situation. As this document is legally binding, lying on the form can be considered lying under oath, and your spouse can be subject to some rather serious legal repercussions. Finally, your spouse must give an oral testimony, under which his or her answers must also be answered honestly, lest they find themselves subject to the aforementioned legal repercussions.
Discovering whether or not your spouse has any hidden assets from you can be a long and drawn out process. Hopefully, this brief article has given you some idea about what to expect from this situation.