Divorce is never easy. It can be emotional and fraught with conflict, particularly regarding money. Some of the most hotly contested issues during a divorce surround dividing marital assets and deciding the amount of child or spousal support each parent should pay. Nobody wants to pay more than their fair share. Under North Carolina law, all parties to a divorce must disclose all assets and debts. But what should you do if you suspect your spouse is hiding money or assets to avoid paying spousal or child support? Before you confront your ex, there are some steps you can take to make sure you protect yourself and have all the facts.
Financial documents will be a great asset in any dispute over assets in a divorce. Gather copies of all bank statements, tax returns, investment accounts, 401K or retirement accounts, withdrawals or records of cash transactions, property deeds, photographs of large assets like jewelry or vehicles, large gifts to children, bills and expenses, salary information, and any other documented assets. Make a note of why you suspect your ex is hiding money, even if you can't yet substantiate your suspicions.
Work With a Trusted Family Law Attorney
Your attorney can make formal demands for financial documents, including bank and financial statements, tax returns, loan applications, and business financial documents. Your attorney can also ask targeted, written questions through “interrogatories” that your ex must answer in writing and sign under oath. During discovery, your attorney can also depose your ex and people with relevant financial information. A deposition is sworn testimony given under oath and recorded by a court reporter. Perjury in North Carolina is a Class F Felony.
Sometimes, your attorney may hire a private investigator or a forensic accountant to discover more sophisticated asset-hiding schemes. Your attorney may also ask the court to preserve assets by ordering the parties not to sell or give away property. In North Carolina, we also have stiff penalties for hiding assets. When discovered, the court has the authority to issue sanctions, including monetary penalties.
Hire a Skilled North Carolina Family Lawyer
You need skilled legal guidance if you're contemplating a divorce or separation or are already in the middle of a divorce. Our attorneys have been helping families in North Carolina for years. Find out how we can help you too. Call Jerkins Family Law at 919-719-2785 or contact us online.