Yes, full financial disclosure in Oklahoma divorce is a legal requirement. Both spouses will be required to disclose all marital assets to the court so that a fair and just distribution can be accomplished, either by agreement of the spouses or by the court if they cannot agree.
What Must be Disclosed?
All marital assets valued at $100 or more must be included in a financial disclosure in Oklahoma divorce. You, or your Tulsa divorce attorney, should provide this to your spouse and the court.
A financial disclosure in Oklahoma divorce also includes assets that may be personal rather than marital property, such as inheritances or property that you owned prior to the marriage.
If you have assets that you believe are personal, you should make a notation reflecting that beside the item on your disclosure statement. It is not acceptable to fail to include that asset because you do not believe it has anything to do with the marriage.
In addition to physical assets, financial information including your net income as well as your debt payments must be included in your statement. Net income is your wages minus taxes, retirement plans, insurances and other recurring expenses.
When a spouse files for divorce, an automatic injunction is issued by the court that prohibits selling, changing title, or concealing marital assets that goes into effect immediately. The injunction includes financial accounts, such as bank, retirement, profit sharing, pension and any other type of account that holds funds that are available or can be borrowed against.
In addition, cashing any negotiable instrument, such as an income tax refund, without the signature of the other spouse is also prohibited.
The nonfiling spouse has three days upon receipt of the injunction to file an objection and have a hearing scheduled to show cause why the injunction should be dissolved. Having a qualified Tulsa divorce attorney is a good idea especially during this phase.
In the alternative, if both spouses agree, the automatic injunction can be signed by each of you in the space provided on that document indicating that you would like to waive the automatic injunction and returned to the court.
What You Can Do if You Believe Your Spouse is Hiding Assets
Divorces are generally controversial and spouses consider hiding assets so that the other party cannot benefit from them.
Spouses have been known to deed vehicles and real estate that is titled in their name to a third party, such as a relative, or stash valuable property with friends or relatives and then claim they do not exist.
There are discovery options available to you if you believe that your spouse has hidden or disposed of assets that are designed to obtain proof. Legal methods that can be used include depositions and interrogatories and requests for production of documents.
Depositions involve a lawyer questioning your spouse while under oath with a court reporter present. Interrogatories involve compiling a list of questions related to assets that generally include a request for copies of documentation related to the assets in question.
Penalties for Failure of Financial Disclosure in Oklahoma Divorce
If you prove that your spouse failed to disclose marital assets, including financial information, the court may award additional compensation in the form of assets or cash to you. In addition, your spouse could be ordered to pay all or a portion of your attorney fees.
The court could also hold your spouse in contempt of court and order that he or she pay fines and penalties and other sanctions as the judge determines are appropriate.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Divorce Attorney
If you do not discover that your spouse withheld financial information until after the final divorce decree has been issued, you can petition the court to reopen your divorce case to resolve the issue. Divorce of Tulsa Law Office offers free consultations for all matters related to divorce.
An attorney with expert knowledge in Oklahoma divorce issues is available to assist you. Call 918-924-5526 today to schedule a free consultation.