Vancouver Finding Hidden Family Assets lawyers are skilled at finding hidden family property, exposing family debts, and finding missing guideline income. MacLean Law family law lawyers have won Top Choice, client voted top Vancouver family law firm for 5 of the past 6 years. Lorne MacLean, QC has been named threeBest divorce lawyer for Vancouver and Surrey numerous times. MacLean hires passionate lawyers who share his vision for obtaining justice in high conflict family law cases.
In today’s blog, rising star family associate Sophie Bartholomew explains how MacLean Law’s Vancouver Finding Hidden Family Property lawyers ferret out the truth and obtain justice for you when your spouse has been untruthful. To see what happens when lies are exposed under vigorous cross-examination by our lawyers see D. v. D. the record-breaking $116,000 a month support case and the precedent-setting case where a special costs award of $1,500,000 ( 100% recovery) was won by MacLean law against a wealthy international family law case spouse who was hiding income and family property.
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Disclosure is an important part of every family law case. It allows parties to assess what assets are family assets, the value of the assets and therefore what constitutes equal or unequal division of family property. It can also allow parties to ascertain one party’s obligation to provide support to the other. Vancouver Finding Hidden Family Property lawyers know that lying about income and the family property is ” the cancer of family law litigation”.
We have encountered many cases where a party does not disclose all their assets, or actively attempts to hide or dissipate their assets before or after a separation. Unfortunately, resentment at the breakdown of a relationship and the emotions associated with separation can sometimes lead a party to try and stop their former spouse from getting their fair share.
Our Vancouver Finding Hidden Family Assets Lawyers can try and ascertain whether your former spouse has engaged in this kind of behaviour, and can take steps to ensure you get what you deserve.
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Things to look Out For
- Controlling behaviours – Has your former spouse always dealt with the family assets? Have issues and arguments arisen when you ask to be involved or see the family finances? This could be a sign that your former spouse has taken steps without your knowledge regarding family assets in anticipation of, or as a result of a separation.
- Lifestyle Audit –Before or after separation, a former spouse’s financial spending or habits may change. For example, have they increased their cash withdrawals or transfers and you cannot see where the funds have done? Have they lent or given money to family? This may mean that you have to protect your assets as soon as possible from being dissolved or dissipated.
- Expenses v Income – Do your spouses expenses far exceed their income, however, they do not have any corresponding debt? For example, are they going on lavish holidays where previously you could not afford it? This could suggest that they have unreported sources of income.
- Business Irregularities – Are there irregular business transactions? Have they transferred an interest in a business to a third party or family member, without payment or something in return? Do the books not add up? Is there the possibility that a business is receiving cash under the table or running personal expenses through their business? If an ex-spouse is self-employed or runs a business, then there may be more complex ways that they are trying to limit your potential interest in family assets.
Steps that Can be Taken
- Financial Statement – We can require a party to provide a sworn financial statement and get a court order to compel them if they do not provide it in a reasonable time.
- Demand for Documents & Financial Review – We can demand and review bank statements and company financial statements to try and ascertain whether there are any missing funds or irregularities. If the matter is particularly complex, then we can engage a forensic accountant to confirm whether any of your family assets have been dissipated.
- Examination for Discovery – where your former spouse is questioned under oath, or an order can be sought for a pre-trial examination of third parties;
- Interrogatories – written answers to various questions under oath;
- Notice to Admit – serving a document on your former spouse asking them to admit the truth of certain facts, failing which they are deemed to have admitted them;
- Injunctions – can be applied for with, or without, notice to your former spouse to limit the use of family property if you believe it may be dissipated;
Powers of the Court
If a party does not abide by a court order for disclosure after any of the reasonable steps detailed above, the Court can:
- Dismiss all or part of that parties claim or application;
- Strike out the party’s response to a family claim or response to counterclaim;
- Impose a fine;
- Punish a party under contempt of court;
- draw an adverse inference. This may result in the Court unequally dividing family property to account for the undisclosed assets;
- costs including special may also be awarded to the successful party.
- jail for perjury obtained such as a 6-month sentence by Lorne MacLean, QC in a recent high net worth divorce after MacLean had the husband’s business premises raided pursuant to a rare and aggressive Anton Pillar Order
Vancouver Finding Hidden Family Property lawyers warn you to please be careful not to carry out your own investigation into your ex-spouse’s financial dealings without first speaking to a Vancouver Finding Hidden Family Property lawyer. Your ex-spouse has various privacy rights which you should be mindful of not breaching. Our Vancouver Finding Hidden Family Property Lawyers have experience in dealing with opposing parties that have tried to hide assets in order to stop you getting what you deserve. Book an appointment with Sophie Bartholomew or our other Vancouver lawyers to discuss how best to ensure your financial family law interests are protected.