Why You Should Conduct an Asset Search at the Outset of a Divorce
Hidden or undisclosed assets are common in a divorce. It is all too easy for one spouse to move assets out of their name by transferring them to family members and business partners. To ensure that nothing is left on the table divorce attorneys should conduct an asset search at the start of the process.
An asset search is a well-known pre-discovery tool that can encourage a more favorable settlement or assist a spouse and their attorney in locating hidden or non-disclosed assets.
During an economic downturn, some spouses could be tempted to conceal their assets. If there is family money a spouse may not even have to do much to conceal the assets aside from transferring money to kids, family members or into family trusts. Do not let your client lose out on assets in a divorce due to their spouse’s dishonesty. In some high asset divorces, a spouse with family money can easily leave their lower earning spouse with a lot less than they deserve.
Doing an asset search early in the process gives a better picture of the available assets and helps your client obtain and fair and reasonable settlement. If the asset search reveals assets that are not in your client’s spouse’s financial disclosure, your client’s spouse will be compelled to be more honest and thorough when the case moves through discovery, saving time and money on the entire divorce process and helps to eliminate the other spouse’s selective amnesia.
An asset search also helps your client with divorce planning which is critical for determining assets with different tax consequences. Older clients facing retirement need to be especially careful to plan their divorce so that their divorce settlement reflects the years they contributed to the marriage and allows them to retire comfortably.
An asset search is quick and inexpensive. It can be turned around in a few days. There is nothing to lose by doing an asset search early in the divorce process. An asset search can provide information about assets such as trusts, family trusts, corporations limited partnerships, real estate and deed transfers, cars, boats, planes, patents, professional licenses, and trademarks. It can also provide information about debts such as federal and state tax liens, judgements, and other liabilities. If your client is dealing with a soon to be ex-spouse who may or may not be a high net worth individual, an asset search can be a valuable tool to discover non-financial information about the individual which includes a verified name and address and information about family members who could be beneficiaries of any hidden assets.
Conducting an Asset Search early in the divorce process is necessary. The divorce process can be long and draining and the earlier you can do an asset search, the sooner you can gain leverage for your client and move the process forward. Contact us to order your search today at 1(800) 290-1012 ext. 111 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys can help you determine what type of search is best suited for your divorce case and interpret the results on your behalf if needed.