Finding Hidden Income & Assets
Even under the best circumstances, divorce is hard. The emotional toll it can take on a couple and family can be overwhelming as you both try to reimagine your lives without each other. What can make this time even more stressful is when you believe your spouse is hiding relevant information from you concerning income and assets. When separating, it’s essential that each partner has a clear idea of the finances so they can make educated decisions about how to split assets fairly.
If you’re going through a divorce and suspect your spouse of hiding assets or income, the best action you can take is to contact an experienced divorce attorney to help you uncover the hidden money legally. Jeffers Law Office serves clients going through a divorce in Overland Park, Kansas, and the surrounding areas including Olathe, Lenexa, Shawnee, Leawood, and Prairie Village. Call today to schedule your free initial telephone consultation.
Division of Assets in Kansas
When determining the division of assets, Kansas follows an equitable distribution model. This means all marital assets should be split equitably (fairly), and not necessarily equally. So while you may not be able to expect a straight 50/50 split each time, you should be assured that you’ll get a fair share of the wealth you’ve accumulated during your marriage. Unfortunately, it’s all too common that one spouse hides assets from the other, either for the duration of the marriage or leading up to the divorce, as a way to keep more money.
There are further rules surrounding what assets should be divided and which are exempt, and Kansas law divides these into “separate” and “marital” assets. A separate asset is either acquired by one spouse before the marriage, acquired during the marriage but by using earnings from separate property, or is an inherited asset acquired during the marriage.
Almost everything else is classified as a marital asset. This could include any separate assets that have been “commingled,” meaning they began as separate assets but were then used or invested in by both spouses. Common examples of this could be a mortgage or investment fund that both spouses contributed to even though it was originally acquired by only one spouse.
Commonly Hidden Assets or Income
It’s most common to see hidden assets when one partner is the “in-spouse” and the other is the “out-spouse.” This occurs when one spouse is the primary earner in the relationship, or if one spouse is solely in charge of the couple’s finances and the other has limited access. A spouse may refuse to share this information, or they may actually open separate bank accounts or investment accounts and divert money to them. They also may use their business to hide assets, or they may apply for loans individually as a way to increase their income without the other knowing.
Uncovering the Truth
It can be very hard to find hidden assets when working with a dishonest spouse, which is why you should communicate with your divorce attorney directly. There are ways to force your spouse to share information, but you must follow the correct legal channel known as the “discovery” process.
In discovery, your attorney will ensure you’re only looking in areas you have legal access to. They will start by formally requesting documents like tax returns, loan applications, or account statements. They can also issue inspection demands, submit questions to your spouse that they’re legally bound to answer, or even have them testify under oath. They will analyze accounts and cash flow, trace all money in and out to uncover hidden accounts, and thoroughly inspect both individual and business tax returns.
Working With an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If you’re in the Overland Park, Kansas, area and would like help ensuring you have an equitable asset division during your divorce, contact Jeffers Law Office for a free initial telephone consultation. Divorce is hard, especially if you can’t trust your spouse, but there are people who can help. Reach out today.