How to protect your property and best interests while safeguarding your future
All states have specific laws governing how property is to be distributed after a divorce. Missouri is an equitable division state. This means during divorce, property must be divided between spouses in an equitable, not necessarily equal, manner. The only way to ensure that a property division agreement is equitable is to have full and fair disclosure of all assets. Unfortunately, by its very nature divorce is often an adversarial process. It is not uncommon for one spouse to attempt to hide assets in order to prevent division. Discovering hidden assets after a final decree of divorce has been issued leads to unnecessary, costly and protracted litigation that only leads to additional stress. It is vital that you work with a divorce attorney highly experienced in asset investigation and business and property valuation to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation and assets you deserve.
One of the first steps in asset investigation is to obtain a complete accounting of all financial aspects of your spouse and marriage.
Property is divided into three categories:
- Separate – Property that one spouse acquired prior to the marriage or as an inheritance or gift during the marriage.
- Marital – Property acquired jointly during the marriage.
- Commingled – Property that is acquired or developed using both separate and marital assets.
In some cases, spouses may be able to cooperate and openly share an honest accounting of financial transactions and assets. However, in the event that one spouse withholds information or refuses to honestly communicate with the other spouse, additional steps must be taken to investigate potentially.
The discovery process allows you to formally request financial documents which your spouse must legally provide to avoid additional penalties. You may also submit written interrogatories to request answers to direct questions. During a deposition, all statements are provided under oath and lying is grounds for perjury charges. Depositions are often an effective way to interrogate your spouse about suspicions while providing evidence to support your assertions.
During the asset investigation process, additional financial investigators may be utilized to assist in tracing financial accounts and executing complete background checks on your spouse to discover any suspicious activity.
At the Troy J. Leavitt Law Firm, LLC, our Missouri divorce lawyer works collaboratively with investigators and financial planners to provide you with an accurate and comprehensive financial picture. Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your rights and secure your financial future. Call 816-228-6000 or send a confidential email to schedule an appointment at our Blue Springs office. We represent clients throughout the Kansas City metro area, including Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Lee’s Summit, Independence and Oak Grove.