Finding Hidden Income and Assets
In our home state of Oklahoma, the law stipulates that assets are divided equitably during a divorce. This doesn't necessarily mean a 50/50 split, but rather a fair distribution based on several factors like the duration of the marriage, the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of assets, and the financial needs of both parties.
One significant concern that many clients express during divorce proceedings is the potential of their spouse concealing income or assets. At Military Law Group, we understand this and are here to stand by your side every step of the way. It's imperative to uncover any hidden income or assets to ensure this division is as fair as possible.
Oklahoma's Division of Assets Laws
Oklahoma follows the Equitable Distribution model for the division of assets in a divorce. Contrary to a common misconception, the word "equitable" does not always translate to "equal". Instead, it is interpreted as "fair" based on each spouse's contribution to the marriage and their future financial needs.
Assets subject to division include not only tangible items like houses, cars, and furniture, but also intangible ones such as retirement benefits, investment portfolios, and even business interests. However, it's important to note that only marital property is subject to division. This encompasses assets that were acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title.
On the other hand, separate property, which includes assets owned before the marriage or acquired during the marriage as gifts or inheritances, generally remains the property of the original owner.
The court takes into account several factors when making a decision on asset division. These include the length of the marriage, the age and health of each party, their earning capabilities, and the standard of living established during the marriage.
The Importance of Equitable Distribution
Here in Oklahoma, equitable distribution is the guiding principle in asset division during a divorce. This means that all marital property should be divided in a way that is fair and just, considering the circumstances of each spouse. This is where the importance of uncovering hidden income and assets comes into play. Without a complete picture of marital assets, it's impossible to achieve a truly equitable division.
Commonly Concealed Assets or Income
In several divorce cases, it's unfortunately not rare for spouses to conceal income or assets. These hidden resources can take various forms, complicating the process of equitable distribution. To provide some clarity, we've compiled a list of some of the most frequently concealed assets:
Offshore Bank Accounts: Some spouses may hide money in foreign bank accounts, making them more challenging to track.
Undisclosed Investments: Investments in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds that have not been revealed can significantly impact the division of assets.
Undervalued Assets: Certain valuable assets may be purposely undervalued to alter the asset division outcome.
Unreported Cash Businesses: Income from cash-based businesses may be hidden or underreported to mask the real earnings.
Cryptocurrency Holdings: With the rise of digital currencies, some spouses may use them as a new avenue to conceal assets.
By identifying and exposing these hidden resources, our team works diligently for a fair and equitable distribution of marital property.
What to Look For
When you're searching for hidden income and assets, it's important to be thorough. Look for discrepancies in financial records, like unexplained transfers or unusual expenses. You might also notice sudden changes in your spouse's lifestyle that don't align with their reported income.
Reviewing bank statements, tax returns, business records, and other financial documents can shed light on these discrepancies. In some cases, hiring a forensic accountant may be beneficial.
The Process of Discovery in a Divorce
In any divorce proceedings, the discovery process plays a pivotal role. This formal procedure involves gathering pertinent information related to the case from each party. Here, we break down the process into a series of steps:
Interrogatories: These are written questions that one party sends to the other, which must be answered truthfully under oath. This allows both parties to establish the facts of the case and clarify any uncertainty.
Requests for Production of Documents: This involves asking the other party to produce specific documents relevant to the divorce. It could include bank statements, property deeds, tax returns, or any records that would provide insight into hidden income and assets.
Depositions: A deposition is an oral testimony given under oath. During a deposition, attorneys from both sides have the opportunity to ask questions. This can be a useful tool for gathering information and gauging how a person might behave in a courtroom setting.
Subpoenas: If necessary, a subpoena can be used to compel a third party to provide documents or testify in court. This can be helpful in obtaining information that one spouse may not willingly share, such as details about hidden assets.
In conclusion, navigating the complexities of asset division and uncovering hidden income during a divorce process can be stressful and demanding.
Take Control of Your Situation
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding income or assets in your divorce, don't hesitate to reach out to us. At Military Law Group, we understand the importance of uncovering hidden income and assets during a divorce. Our dedicated team is ready to assist you in uncovering the truth and protecting your financial interests. You're not alone in this journey. Call us at our Tulsa, Oklahoma, firm today for a confidential consultation and take the first step towards a fair and equitable resolution.
We serve clients across the Tulsa metro area, including Rogers County, Creek County, and the Creek and Cherokee Nations.