Your divorce is finalized. All your property is divided. Your case is closed.
Now you discover your spouse hid assets, what do you do?
A major part of divorce proceedings focus on finances. Thus, hiding assets
in a divorce is a more common occurrence than many would believe. Despite
the Court’s continuous attempts and expectations of creating an
equitable equalization of parties’ properties the Court is only
able to divide those assets which are disclosed by the parties. Disclosures
made in a dissolution of marriage are expected to be full and honest,
disclosing all facts that materially affect the rights and interests of
the parties. Additionally, such disclosures are expected to be provided
without requiring inquiries or requests by either party. When assets are
intentionally withheld, hidden, moved, or disposed of by one party without
the knowledge or endorsement of the other party such actions can create
grounds for the court to reopen the asset division of the divorce proceedings.
The Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 16.2(e)(10) grants the Court
jurisdiction over the divorce proceedings in cases where one spouse has
hid assets from the other. C.R.C.P. 16.2(e)(10) states, “it is the
duty of the parties to an action for decree of dissolution of marriage,
legal separation, or invalidity of marriage, to provide full disclosures
of all material assets and liabilities. If the disclosure contains misstatements
or omissions, the court shall retain jurisdiction after the entry of a
final decree or judgment for a period of five (5) years to allocate material
assets or liabilities, the omission or non-disclosure of which materially
affects the division of assets and liabilities.” Failure to comply
with the disclosure requirements in a divorce proceeding which results
in the reopening of the case can have serious consequences for the non-disclosing
party. The law empowers the Court with the ability to impose a variety
of penalties against the non-disclosing party. For example, the Court
could require the untruthful spouse to pay the other spouse’s attorney
fees, to transfer the entire value of the hidden assets to the other spouse, or both.
If you feel your spouse hid assets during your divorce, contact us today.
At Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. we understand the stresses involved
in divorce proceedings. Our attorneys are experienced and supportive.