I am worried that my spouse will try to hide assets. What can I do?
In the state of Texas, it is fairly standard procedure for the party filing for divorce to seek a Temporary Restraining Order preventing either party from making any large withdrawals from any types of accounts, transferring assets, changing beneficiaries, etc. Seeking a Temporary Restraining Order will allow you to preserve the community estate until the Judge can issue temporary orders that will last for the duration of the divorce.During the divorce process, your attorney can send out formal discovery requests to your spouse. These requests can require your spouse to produce current and historical financial and business related documents and to give sworn answers to specific questions. In addition to formal discovery, your attorney can depose your spouse to further question him/her about the existence of any unknown assets and/or liabilities. The deposition will also allow your attorney to question your spouse about any suspect transfers if it is discovered that he/she was attempting to hide assets.
Your divorce attorney will work with you to determine whether or not it is necessary for any experts to be retained to value any of your assets such as your business or your home. If your spouse retains an expert to value assets such as these, you can retain your own independent expert to value the assets. For example, it may be important to have the valuation expert review the financial documents on the business and determine if your spouse is trying to misrepresent the value of his/her business. This will allow you to present the court with a value that you believe is reasonable for the asset in question.
Associate Lauren F. Durso and partner J. Lindsey Short, Jr. practice with the former Houston firm of Short Carter Morris.