Elkouri Heath, PLC


39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

Uncovering Hidden Assets and Protecting Your Rights in Michigan

 Posted on April 10, 2023 in Divorce

Farmington Hills Divorce LawyerDivorce proceedings can be complex, and the division of assets is often a contentious issue. In Michigan, the law requires an equitable distribution of marital property, which means the assets must be divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Unfortunately, some spouses try to hide assets to avoid sharing them. In this blog post, we will discuss how to uncover hidden assets in a Michigan divorce and how you can protect your rights throughout the process.

Understanding Michigan’s Equitable Distribution Laws

Under Michigan’s equitable distribution laws, the court will divide marital property as it deems fair and just. Marital property includes all assets and debts acquired during the marriage, such as real estate, vehicles, retirement accounts, and debt. Separate property, which is acquired before the marriage or through inheritance or gifts, is usually not subject to division. Keep in mind that while this state is typically considered an equitable distribution state, there are some cases where the judge will decide one party gets more than the other. This scenario usually occurs when one partner may be more at fault than the other, so they would receive fewer assets. 

Common Techniques for Hiding Assets

Unscrupulous spouses may use various tactics to hide assets, including:

  • Temporarily transferring assets to friends or family members

  • Establishing offshore accounts or shell companies

  • Underreporting income or overreporting expenses

  • Delaying receipt of bonuses, commissions, or other payments

  • Undervaluing or not disclosing assets

Uncovering Hidden Assets

To protect your rights and ensure a fair distribution of assets, it is crucial to uncover any hidden assets. Here are some steps you can take:

Hire a forensic accountant: These professionals specialize in investigating financial records and can help identify discrepancies, hidden accounts, and other signs of concealed assets.

Review financial statements: Carefully examine bank statements, tax returns, and other financial documents for unusual transactions or unexplained changes in account balances.

Request discovery: In a divorce proceeding, you can use the discovery process to request information from your spouse, including financial records and documentation of assets. If your spouse refuses to comply, a judge may order them to provide the requested information.

Subpoenas: If necessary, your attorney can issue subpoenas to banks, employers, and other institutions to obtain financial records and reveal hidden assets.

Protecting Your Rights

To ensure that your rights are protected during a divorce in Michigan, it is essential to:

  • Retain an experienced family law attorney: A knowledgeable attorney will understand the nuances of Michigan’s equitable distribution laws and guide you through the process, helping uncover hidden assets for a fair division of property.

  • Gather documentation: Collect and maintain records of all marital assets and liabilities, including bank statements, real estate deeds, vehicle titles, and retirement account statements.

  • Be proactive: If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, inform your attorney immediately and take steps to uncover the truth. The sooner you act, the better your chances of protecting your rights and receiving a fair settlement.

Contact a Michigan Divorce Lawyer Today

Divorce can be a challenging experience. Uncovering hidden assets and protecting your rights requires diligence, expertise, and legal support. Working with an experienced Oakland County family law attorney can help you to make sure you are following the proper steps during this time. Call Elkouri Heath, PLC today to get your free consultation so you can find out the next steps specific to your scenario.




Share this post:
Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
Back to Top