Judges overseeing proceedings in the Florida family courts must apply state law to unique family circumstances. They have to help protect children when making custody decisions and seek fair solutions under the equitable distribution statute enshrined in Florida law. Couples may also negotiate a settlement by making disclosures to each other and setting mutually agreeable terms before they go to court.
For some people who let their emotions get the better of them in a divorce, reducing what their spouse receives from property division proceedings will be their biggest goal. If they can walk away with the lion’s share of assets or even with specific property, they will feel like they have won the divorce.
Those intent on attempting to manipulate asset distribution in a divorce may hide assets from their ex and from the courts. How do you protect yourself from this kind of misconduct if you think your ex is eager to deny you your share of the marital estate?
Get copies of your financial records
The first step toward proving that your ex misrepresented their assets or intentionally hid property or bank accounts from you is to find evidence that those assets exist. You also need to know what you share with your ex if you intend to negotiate your own settlement.
Tax records, payroll reports and even credit card statements can help you track down individual assets and possibly even hidden bank accounts. Ideally, you will obtain physical or digital copies of those records yourself so that there is no risk of your ex having manipulated or altered them.
Know when to bring in the professionals
Lawyers who have handled other high-asset Florida divorces and forensic accountants will have the skills and patience necessary to dig through your financial records and find evidence of your spouse’s misconduct. Professional support can be crucial to your success certain locating those hidden assets and valuing them for the courts.
When you successfully locate hidden assets, you can not only claim your fair share of that property in the divorce but potentially asked the courts to consider your ex’s misconduct when they split your other property.
Carefully preparing for divorce, including reviewing financial records, will help you achieve the best outcome in property division proceedings.