Is My Partner Withholding Assets During Our Separation?
The Law Of...Declaring Assets During Divorce
The law is very clear that a husband and wife who are trying to resolve financial issues arising from the breakdown of their marriage are under a duty to give 'full and frank disclosure' to each other.
Both separating parties must set out their financial circumstances to each other, fully, clearly and openly, giving details of any 'other relevant circumstances'.
For some, unfortunately, this is not always a straightforward process.
John Pratley, Head of Family Law, explains what to do if you believe your partner is withholding assets during your divorce.
Declaring All Assets
When going through a divorce, it is vital that both parties declare all of their financial assets, as well as their complete financial circumstances.
Failure to disclose financial information will cause hostility and distrust, which will make the task of reaching an agreement, or pursuing a court application, more complicated and expensive. Also, any agreement which is reached in the absence of full and frank disclosure can be set aside at a later date, so if you are not completely open you will be left with the risk that everything could be reopened in the years to come.
In some situations, individuals may come to believe that their husband or wife is not being fully honest when declaring assets. This anxiety may be worse if the circumstances in which your marriage broke down have given you reason to distrust your husband or wife.
Breaching Personal Privacy Is Illegal
It may be tempting to go behind your partners back if you suspect some assets are being withheld. This would consist of breaches of trust and security, such as checking a person's phone, private documents or emails, without their consent.
Avoid doing this at all costs, as breaching a person's privacy and security can have very serious consequences.
Firstly, there are many laws which protect “personal privacy”, some of which are supported by serious penalties. For example, it is a serious criminal offence to open post or emails which are not addressed to you.
Secondly, if you give those documents (or copies of them) to your solicitor, he or she may be prevented from acting for you further.
How Simpson Millar Can Help You
If you believe your partner has assets they have not declared during divorce proceedings, or perhaps you believe they have illegitimately accessed your personal documents, then contact a solicitor immediately.
Our Family Law Solicitors can help you get the financial outcome you deserve from your divorce. Contact us today using either our freephone number or our online enquiry form.