While preparing for an upcoming child support modification hearing, it came to my attention that my ex-wife has a significant amount of money held in stocks that my previous divorce attorney was somehow unable to locate.
I speculate that my ex-wife hid these assets somehow during our divorce. Can I subpoena documents from her employer and/or investment firm to determine the full amount of assets my ex-wife has and potentially hid from me?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Indiana divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
Where I practice, a party does not have a duty to disclose something that was not specifically requested, such as in discovery requests.
However, if the information was specifically requested, her failure to respond or provide information regarding the stocks may be sufficient to be considered fraud if the amount of the hidden assets was substantial and you would not have agreed to the division of property had you been aware of the stocks.
The failure to provide the information on the stocks may not amount to fraud if you cannot show that the information was requested in a clear and specific manner.
The court has an interest in finality of property divisions. Therefore, many states place a limit on the time that an agreement can be voided based on fraud.
You should check to see if your state's divorce laws allow for the property division to be re-opened based on fraud. In order to get the court to set aside the order and divorce decree regarding property division, you must show all the statutory elements of fraud.
Divorce Resources:Can I Appeal?
Since the issue of child support is currently open, the issue of property available to her may be considered in determining each of your child support obligations.
In that way, you may be able to submit a non-party request for production of documents to her employer, banks, or brokerage firms that you know she uses and provide sufficient details, such as the opposing party's social security number, date of birth, etc., to obtain documents showing the assets available to her currently.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.