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How do I ensure a fair settlement if my ex spouse is concealing assets?

Finance

Going through a divorce can be a challenging and stressful process. It is not uncommon for one spouse to suspect that the other is concealing assets to prevent them from receiving a fair settlement. Although most divorces are resolved through honest financial disclosure and negotiation, it’s essential to be aware of the potential for deception and take steps to safeguard yourself if you suspect your former partner is hiding assets.

Financial disclosure is a critical component of the divorce process. Both parties are required to provide comprehensive financial disclosure, including assets, company interests, pensions, incomes, and liabilities, along with supporting documents. This information is used to establish a fair financial settlement.

If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, there are several ways to investigate. One common tactic is to transfer assets to friends or family shortly before a divorce to exclude them from the settlement. However, if an asset has been transferred at an undervalued price within three years of the divorce, the burden of proof falls on the person who made the transfer to show that it was not done to reduce their ex-partner’s financial claims. If they are unable to prove this, the transfer can be overturned, or the lost amount can be added back into the shared assets.

Another way to investigate is by examining public records such as Companies House and the Land Registry in the UK, which can reveal hidden assets. For instance, in one instance, a spouse did not reveal a property they owned in Florida, but it was discovered through public records. Additionally, there are professionals who specialize in tracing assets on an international level and can use legal means to locate assets owned in the UK and overseas.

If you are genuinely concerned that your ex-partner is about to give away an asset or transfer it out of the country, you can apply for a freezing order. This necessitates strong evidence that the transfer is imminent, but if granted, it can prevent the asset from being moved until the divorce settlement is finalized.

It’s crucial to remember that concealing assets during a divorce is not only unethical but also illegal. Judges are highly critical of this behaviour and may impose cost orders and less generous settlements as a result. If you discover that your former partner hid assets during the divorce process, you can apply to reopen the financial settlement.

While it’s natural to feel anxious and overwhelmed during a divorce, it’s crucial to safeguard your financial interests and seek legal advice if you suspect your ex is hiding assets. Divorce is a significant life event that can have long-term consequences, so it’s essential to approach it with a clear head and a thorough understanding of your rights and options.

If you’re dealing with a divorce and suspect that your ex is hiding assets, it’s vital to seek legal advice promptly. Haris Law Solicitors can assist you in navigating this difficult time and ensuring that your financial interests are protected. Our experienced family law team can provide expert guidance on asset tracing, financial disclosure, and negotiation to assist you in obtaining a fair settlement.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our expert solicitors.

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