Personal Law

Hidden Assets in a Divorce

March 6, 2020

Within financial proceedings the parties must provide full and frank financial disclosure to each other as well as the Court.  However, we do find that people can often hide or fail to disclose matrimonial assets.  We’ve also experienced some people disseminating matrimonial assets. For example, transferring them to different accounts or withdrawing substantial amounts of money from cash machines without any explanation about where the money has been spent or where it is being held.

Dealing with these types of matters can be difficult however, there are recourses available to parties within these kinds of proceedings.  

Firstly, if you are concerned that your spouse is frivolously spending or transferring matrimonial assets from their bank account, then it is possible to apply for an injunction to freeze said accounts.  At this point you can look over the account details, confirm the other accounts that are having money transferred to them, make relevant enquiries and obtain documents should the Court order so.

Secondly, the other option is to obtain a forensic accountant who would consider the statements and then confirm where the funds are being transferred to. It is also possible to sometimes obtain confirmation as to the purpose of said transfers.  

Thirdly, the Court can order that certain documents are disclosed, for example bank statements, receipts etc.  Upon disclosure, inferences can be made as to where the assets have gone.  Sometimes it may not be possible for the Court to fully confirm where the assets have been transferred to or even locate some of the hidden assets however, persuasive counsel can request that the Court make an adverse inference as to the potentially hidden assets. This means that the Court can make an order which includes the hidden assets, thereby making an order in your favour.

This is also true of assets that are held in a foreign jurisdiction as sometimes documents are not readily available.

We offer a free, 15-minute, pre-bookable phone call with one of our experienced family law team. Alternatively, we offer a fixed £99 fee inc VAT  for a 45-minute meeting with one of our highly experienced family team. If you would like some confidential advice about a family legal issue, contact us today to book a meeting.