Failure to disclose assets

What happens the other side fails to disclose all their assets in my divorce?

California law requires both parties in a divorce to make full financial disclosures of all separate and community assets and debts. This is typically done through an FL-150 Income and Expense Declaration and through either an FL-142 Schedule of Assets and Debts or an FL-160 Property Declaration. In some cases, the parties also propound discovery on each other, asking for more information. Discovery requests can include form interrogatories, document demands, requests for admission, and depositions.

Sometimes, one party might try to hide assets from the other party. This is often done in the hopes of keeping more money or property for themselves. This is not permitted under the law and can have extreme consequences.

If it comes out that a party hid assets, the court has the power to divide those assets. The court may even in certain cases award the entire asset to the other party. One of the most famous of these types of cases is In re: Marriage of Rossi ((2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 34). In that case the wife purchased a lottery ticket and won 1.3 million dollars. Eleven days later, she filed for divorce. She did not disclose the lottery win in the divorce proceedings. By chance, the husband found out about the lottery win later and took her to court. Because the wife had acted with fraud, oppression, or malice, the court was able to award the entire 1.3 million dollars to the husband.

That case involved a large asset and fraud, oppression, or malice. Even with a smaller asset, failure to provide complete information can slow the case down and raise the expenses involved.

Have you made your complete financial disclosures in your divorce matter? Are you worried about whether the other side has made their complete disclosures? To get help with financial disclosures and all other aspects of your divorce, contact Romanovska Law.

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