Can you ask for a portion of hidden assets?

Asking for a modification of your divorce decree isn’t necessarily unusual, depending on the reasoning. Many parents ask for modifications to adjust child custody, for example. Others may ask for modifications of alimony when they’re getting remarried or have a change in their circumstances.

Another time when you may want to seek a modification is if you find out that your spouse hid assets during your divorce. Your ex-spouse may have argued that assets no longer existed or that they were lost, but if you find out that they had just transferred those assets to another party or created a false debt to make it seem like the asset was depleted, then you may have a strong case to seek a modification.

During your divorce, your attorney may have taken many steps to try to find missing or hidden assets, like asking your spouse directly or participating in depositions. Whether or not they were found at the time, you may be able to go back and ask a judge to give you a portion of those hidden assets if they are discovered following your divorce.

You may know this, but hiding assets during a divorce is illegal. In addition, it’s totally unethical. California supports a 50-50 division of your marital assets, so if your ex-spouse hid them from you to avoid giving you what you were owed, then you could have a strong case against them. They could also face other penalties for violating the law and lying to the court. Our website has more information about post-judgment modifications and what you may want to do if you find hidden assets.

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