Hidden Assets and Mandatory Disclosure in Florida Divorce
If you are headed toward a divorce, perhaps you’re concerned that your soon-to-be ex will be less than forthcoming about the assets that are on the table. If so, having an experienced attorney on your side could be your best bet at getting a fair settlement.
In Florida, the law requires that any assets and debt accrued during the course of the marriage are to be equitably divided. This means that rather than a straight 50:50 split, a judge will consider a number of factors when it comes to property division, including:
- The length of the marriage;
- Earning potential of each spouse;
- Contributions to the marriage that were not financial (such as raising kids);
- The physical health of each spouse;
- Whether or not children are still at home.
Getting to the Nuts and Bolts of Assets
Each party in a divorce is required to share any and all financial information as per Florida’s Mandatory Disclosure rule. Essentially, the parties must provide any relevant documentation, including:
- Tax return information for the past three years (personal and corporate if applicable);
- IRS forms from the current year;
- Three months of pay stubs;
- Loan applications and other financial statements for the past year;
- Deeds, promissory notes, leases from the past year;
- Brokerage account details;
- Credit card statements;
- Information related to retirement, profit sharing, and pensions;
- Life insurance policies;
- Previous child support orders.
If One Party Refuses to Comply
In the event one party is attempting to hide assets and refuses to provide accurate documentation, the court may sanction that party after a Motion for Contempt or a Motion to Compel Disclosure are filed. This could result in sanctions, as well as in the offending party being ordered to pay attorney fees for the additional motions.
Deep Dive into Corporate Earnings
When large sums of money or corporate assets are involved, your attorney may suggest working with a forensic accountant in order to delve into potential financial secrets. This certified public accountant will examine corporate audits, bills and receipts, and future earnings. While your partner may attempt to undervalue business assets, a CPA will know how to get at the truth of the matter. For example, looking at the amount of insurance coverage provided could be quite revealing. Is your spouse claiming a particular asset is valued at $1,000, for instance, but insuring it for $10,000? Are there what CPA’s refer to as ghost items being insured—items one spouse didn’t even know existed?
Getting the Right Settlement
If you are concerned about getting the settlement you deserve in your divorce, having the right divorce attorney working for you is essential. At WiseLieberman, PLLC, our Boca Raton family lawyers will fight to get the best settlement possible. Contact our office today for a confidential consultation.