Hidden assets include any asset which one party does not disclose to the other party, in connection to a proposed property settlement following the breakdown of a marriage or de-facto relationship.
At one extreme, one party may be deliberately trying to conceal the existence of an interest in an asset from the other party in a divorce.
Sometimes one party may be fully aware of their interests in assets at the time of making their disclosure but needs prompting from the other party to bring those assets to light.
Often we see one party withholding information about interests in assets from the other party as part of a (flawed) negotiation approach to reach an agreement on other aspects of the divorce, such as parent/child agreements.
Certain environmental factors may present an opportunity for assets to be hidden from other parties. These include:
Rule 13.04 of the Family Law Rules 2004 requires ‘full and frank disclosure.’ A forensic accountant can work with family lawyers to review initial disclosure and provide advice on whether that disclosure if considered full and frank for the purpose of allowing values for the matrimonial asset pool to be determined and potential claims for spousal maintenance.
In some instances, there can be cases where full and frank disclosure is not made on a timely basis. The challenge is to then work out whether this is:
Unlike in Australia where you can trace shareholders of companies, in other countries it may not be possible to simply search this.
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AVG Forensic provide clear and high quality forensic accounting and business valuation services which can be relied on for the purpose of achieving a family law property settlement. We adopt a systematic process based on years of experience. Please contact us to discuss how we can help.
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