Hidden Marital Assets and Michigan Divorce
Hidden Marital Assets. In law, not many issues are black and white as most issues fall into the grey area. However, Michigan divorce law is simple and to the point when it comes to hiding marital assets. When getting a divorce in Michigan the law is black and white that one party cannot hide marital assets to the detriment of the other. In order to achieve an equitable division of the marital property all property owned by the spouses must be disclosed. The penalties for not disclosing assets in a Michigan divorce matter are as follows:
- Party who fails to disclose assets may be charged with fraud;
- Judge may award 100% of the hidden property to the other (non-defrauding) spouse.
Despite these legal punishments, spouses are often motivated by greed and anger from the dissolution and they deliberately hide marital assets. I had a case in the last month whereby a spouse failed to disclose an asset worth about $95,000. We subpoenaed the company and obtained proof the he had hidden marital assets by failing to disclose the $95,000.
Hidden Marital Assets and Michigan Law
Sands v. Sands. 192 Mich. App. 698, 482 N.W.2d 203 (1992), aff’d 448 Mich. 30, 497 N.W.2d 493 (1993).
The landmark Michigan ‘hidden marital assets’ case is Sands v. Sands. The case explains the procedural steps necessary to find and use hidden marital assets to increase the marital estate. The defendant, Mr. Sands, deliberately hide marital assets during the divorce process. When assets were found after the trial, the court reconsidered the property division at a new partial trial. The Michigan appellate court awarded Mrs. Sands all of the found hidden marital assets.
Your specific situation may be somewhat different from the norm; please call, 734.927.9782, the Canton Michigan Divorce Lawyers and Canton Michigan Custody Attorneys at Stelmock Law Firm, PC to discuss your matter. We represent clients in the Metro Detroit area (Canton, Plymouth, Northville, Livonia, Westland, Ann Arbor, Novi) and throughout Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Livingston counties. The firm’s office is located at 8556 N. Canton Center Road, Canton, Michigan 48187
By: Robert J. Stelmock, Attorney, GAL, Parenting Coordinator & Mediator at Stelmock Law Firm, PC