Anyone getting a divorce in Connecticut must disclose their assets to their spouse and to the court. The rationale for this requirement is that the information is needed to properly determine property division, alimony, and child support where applicable. The parties must be honest in their disclosures and they must keep the other party apprised of changes that may occur while the divorce is pending. If you are considering divorce, here are a few key points to keep in mind:
What Assets Must Be Disclosed?
The parties must disclose any interest they have in property whether it is titled in their name alone or with their spouse or a third party. This includes bank, retirement, and investment accounts; pensions; stocks; stock options; rsus; real and personal property; business values, accounts, and inventory; certain life insurance policies; and other assets.
When Do You Have to Disclose Your Assets?
Assets must be disclosed in the Financial Affidavit. This is a signed and sworn document that details each party’s income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Importantly, the Financial Affidavit must be kept current. Typically, the parties file an updated Affidavit before any Hearings or Depositions, Trial, and the final Dissolution if the case is resolved without trial.
In addition, during the discovery process, the parties can request documents, answers to questions, admissions or denial of statements, and Depositions, that are relevant to a party’s finances.
A party has 60 days to produce documents, file an objection, or request an extension of time. If a party fails to comply with a discovery request, the requesting party may file a Motion to Compel, also known as a Motion for Order of Compliance, asking the Judge to order the other party to produce the requested documents.
What Happens Once the Financial Information Has Been Provided?
Each attorney will review the other party’s Financial Affidavit and documentation obtained in discovery to determine if there is any property that will need to be appraised or valued. Complicated assets like business interests, stock options, restricted stock, phantom income, carried interest, deferred compensation, artwork, and other types of property can be difficult to value. If the parties cannot agree on the value, it may be necessary to bring in a valuation or financial expert to assist. For example, a business valuation expert can review and analyze the business’s records to determine how much the company is worth and the owner spouse’s income for purposes of property division and calculating support.
How Do You Know Whether Your Spouse Is Hiding Assets?
If you suspect your spouse may be hiding assets or income, your attorney and/or financial experts can conduct a high-level tracing analysis of the information provided in discovery looking for suspicious activity. In some cases, it may be necessary to bring in a forensic accountant and other experts for further investigation.
If you are considering divorce, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients report their finances, including those that are complicated. Contact us for a consultation today.