Although most divorce cases involve only the married parties, a third party may be added if he/she commits fraud related to the couple’s assets. For instance, a spouse may sell a business interest to a family member so that it is no longer considered a marital asset or a spouse may claim that a family gift is really a loan that must be paid back from the marital assets only to receive the funds back from a family member after the divorce is final. When a party attempts to defraud his/her spouse with the assistance of a third party, it can have a significant impact on the property division in a judgment of divorce, the spouse’s income presented, and/or ability to pay spousal support. Often times, the fraud comes to light during the discovery process where parties disclose their assets. Despite the fact that these occasions are not common, it’s important to have an attorney who is experienced at finding hidden assets if a party believes their spouse is capable of such deceit.
It is important to learn about all of the marital assets and be assured that you receive all of the assets to which you are entitled. Sometimes it requires bringing a third party (usually a family member or close friend) into your divorce case to fully discover and allow for the division of the previously untouchable marital asset.