One of the most important required steps in a divorce involves each spouse formally revealing the total value of his or her assets and property. It takes an accurate valuation to create a fair and reasonable settlement. Unfortunately, the National Endowment for Financial Education states that almost 30 percent of Americans admit they have been deceptive with partners regarding finances.
So, what can you do if you believe your spouse is not presenting an accurate picture of his or her financial status? Well, the first thing you will need to do is seek a court order for what is known as “discovery.” Discovery is a fact-finding process intended to get the truth about a spouse’s financial holdings. And some tools can be employed to glean correct information.
For example, your attorney can issue your spouse a list of questions that are commonly called “interrogatories.” Interrogatories must be answered truthfully and in writing. Later, your attorney could make requests for admission, wherein your spouse will have to attest to the veracity of his or her answers while under oath. And if your spouse is untruthful while under oath, he or she could face perjury charges.
It’s not unusual for divorce proceedings to be laced with conflict and hard feelings. Thus, if you are going through this process, you have every reason to feel stressed. And all of this can be made more difficult if you believe your spouse been deceptive regarding important financial information that could significantly affect the value of your settlement.
For this reason, it is important to have an advocate on your side who can help you get to the truth about your spouse’s holdings. And an experienced Texas high-asset divorce attorney could act on your behalf to help ensure that all assets eligible for division are accounted for.