Why a Good Family Law Attorney Should Always Conduct an Asset Search on a Business Owner
If you are a family law attorney collaborating with a client on a divorce, then you or your client may have concerns about the other side’s “selective amnesia” regarding their assets and liabilities. This can be especially true if your client was not the primary breadwinner in the relationship and their spouse is a business owner and is self-employed.
Your client suspects their spouse is hiding assets. They are concerned because these undisclosed assets could benefit themselves and their children. You need to satisfy your due diligence so that your client does not come back and bite you. Of course, you have discovery to conduct but what can be done first to enhance the types of questions and documents that you will be sending out to prevent that selective amnesia? An easy first step is to conduct a professional asset search.
To protect yourself and assist your client at the same time, you may want to recommend that your client authorize an asset search on their spouse and any businesses related to that spouse. The search will also uncover any business entities related to that spouse that your client may be unaware of.
Most asset searches cost less than $250. A business owner may be concealing assets through family trusts, partnerships, or the like. A thorough asset search also provides any liabilities associated with the subject, either individually or through their businesses, such as other lawsuits, bankruptcies, state and federal tax liens and uniform commercial code filings. Uncovering hidden assets or liabilities can also help with the realistic valuation of businesses. This is especially true in cash businesses where an owner can pay cash for assets to disguise revenue and hide money in assets.
Asset searches usually take 1-3 days to conduct. Detailed reports are then emailed to you, the attorney, to share with your client or can be sent to your client directly. Upon receipt, an informed decision can be made with how to proceed in your case.
At Asset Searches Plus, Inc., a nationwide asset search costs $185.00 for an individual subject and $165.00 for a corporate entity, and the turnaround time is usually less than two days. All that is usually needed to conduct a search is the name and last known address of your subject.
To access our “free guide” to conducting an asset search, click here. For more information on conducting an asset search, please call us at 1(800)290-1012 ext. 111 or visit our site at www.assetsearchesplus.com.