North Carolina Fraud & Hidden Assets Lawyer

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Divorce tends to bring out the worst in some people. Out of spite or ill will, a spouse may be tempted to conceal assets to keep them from being considered during divorce proceedings.

Not only does this type of misconduct affect your rights in a divorce case, but it is also a violation of North Carolina law. With the help of a fraud and hidden assets lawyer, you can identify concealed property and bring it before the divorce court.

Attorney Jonathan Breeden has more than 15 years of experience handling divorce cases, including the extremely complicated situation where a spouse is hiding assets. He has expansive knowledge of relevant North Carolina divorce law, so you can feel confident your case is in good hands.

Please contact a fraud and hidden assets lawyer from Breeden Law Office at (919) 661-4970 to schedule a consultation today.

Why Hidden Assets Matter in a North Carolina Divorce

Per North Carolina’s divorce law, one of the primary objectives of the process is to achieve an equitable split of all marital property between the two parties. Detailed in North Carolina General Statute § 50-20, the first step is to identify property acquired during the marriage, which becomes part of the marital estate. Separate property isn’t included because one person owned it before the marriage.

When a party is hiding assets before divorce or upon filing the case, the judge cannot make an equitable distribution of property. No asset division can be fair with key elements missing. A spouse hiding assets is likely aware that this misconduct prejudices the interests of the other.

Another part of the divorce process involves determining whether alimony is appropriate. A judge typically considers spousal support alongside asset division, so the two are interconnected. For instance, the court may decide to order alimony for one party because the other received their primary residence in property division. Therefore, hiding assets in a divorce is also a key factor in spousal support determinations.

Recovering Concealed Property

Even if you suspect that your spouse may be hiding assets before filing for divorce or during the proceedings, you may be concerned about how to address the situation. After all, how do you find hidden assets in a divorce when you don’t even know they exist? An experienced fraud and hidden assets lawyer knows the tactics and strategies needed to identify concealed property and bring it properly before the court.

Discovery Tools

In North Carolina divorce cases, parties have access to procedural rules that allow them to seek out information. Attorneys use an array of tools to find hidden accounts, interests in real estate, and personal property, such as:

  • Requests for Production of Documents – Tax information, receipts, invoices, and related paperwork may reveal ownership of assets.
  • Interrogatories – These are written questions that a party must answer and sign under oath. False or misleading statements may amount to perjury, which carries serious penalties.
  • Requests to Admit Facts – With this form of discovery, your lawyer presents facts about possible assets and ask whether they are true or false.
  • Depositions – This is an in-person question and answer session where an attorney asks questions to an individual before a court reporter. The person answering the questions is sworn in, and the court reporter records the entire conversation. As with interrogatories and requests to admit facts, there are consequences for dishonesty.

Private Investigators

A fraud and hidden assets lawyer may also work with individuals who have formal training in probing for assets. A private investigator can be your attorney’s eyes and ears when trying to uncover misconduct by a spouse hiding assets.

Forensic Accountants

When a party wants to keep assets out of court, they may go to great lengths through complicated ownership structures, trusts, investment accounts, titles to property, and other misconduct. Forensic accountants have a financial background, along with skills in investigating complex accounting principles.

Finding Hidden Assets After Divorce

Even when your divorce case is finalized, you have options if hidden assets come to light. As the recipient of spousal support, you can petition for a post-divorce modification to change the amount based upon the discovery of property that was concealed from the court during the original proceedings. Egregious misconduct by your spouse in hiding assets could lead a judge to increase your alimony based upon what the value of the marital estate should have been.

Severe Consequences of Hiding Assets in Divorce

North Carolina law is harsh on parties that abuse the divorce process. When misconduct related to hidden assets comes to the attention of the court, a judge has authority to issue sanctions. A possible penalty for hidden assets in divorce may include payment of the other party’s legal fees. A court may also alter asset division or spousal support to provide a credit to the spouse who was harmed through concealed assets.

Call a Fraud and Hidden Assets Lawyer

If you have doubts about whether your spouse is truthful regarding marital assets during your divorce, it’s critical to consult with a knowledgeable divorce attorney right away. Jonathan Breeden is a lawyer who focuses on all areas of divorce law, including cases where a spouse is hiding assets. Please contact Breeden Law Office at (919) 661-4970, or go online to schedule a consultation.

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Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden