In United Arab Emirates (UAE), the local legislation requires all earned income and accumulated debt of a married couple to be split in half between the two parties involved. This is regardless how money was earned, who earned a particular amount, and whether just one spouse contributed a significant amount of money or has greater earnings while married. In short, marriage is viewed legally as an economic or business arrangement. As soon as the business ends, each partner will get equal shares with regards to the property distribution.
The following assets will be considered as community property upon marriage: lottery winnings, money earned from any business venture, salary, investment gains, and any item that is purchased with the earnings that are made while married.
The fact that all things acquired while being married are to be split equally causes a lot of spouses to be bitter and adopt a secretive behavior like hide assets or lie about them. Here are ways to uncover assets your spouse may be hiding:
Through oral depositions
An oral deposition will be your attorney having a session of question and answer with your spouse and soon-to-be ex-spouse. It’s conducted under oath, which means the session will be attended by a court reporter. The answers of your spouse to the questions of your divorce lawyers in Dubai, UAE will be recorded. Everything will be on the record as well. The attorney you hire will ask your spouse in answering the questions that you have regarding marital property and separate property. As an oral deposition is done under oath, lies or misstatements told while in the process will be subject to extremely severe fines and penalties.
Since it’s a legal tool, the discovery process can be used in getting your spouse to five answers that he or she would have chosen to evade. Discovery is also a legal process. It’s subject to the local Sharia court’s power and the court is capable of compelling your spouse in providing accurate information and even to offer access onto documentation. Any spouse who is found to be dishonest and misleading, especially to the local court will be sure to face various sanctions.
Interrogation and request for inspection
Discovery documents, commonly referred to as interrogatories, are formal requests for information. Documents may be drafted in a way that information request is broad and can include requests for various information someone who’s unfamiliar with a discovery process will never think in asking. Still, it is best to be very specific on the documents that you want to inspect. In addition to the request of information through a set of discovery documents, your divorce attorney in Dubai can file for the inspection of the property of your spouse. This includes investment income and deposit boxes.
- Tax returns – majority of people don’t attempt at lying to the government when filing their tax returns from the fear of fines and prison sentences. Should you have cause to suspect that your spouse is hiding some assets from you, check the tax returns, starting from the time you got married up to the present moment. Review the official tax returns with the help of a forensic accountant that you commission with the help of your divorce attorney in UAE. The forensic accountant can uncover inconsistencies in income, real estate, existence of trusts, and partnerships.
- Account statements – withdrawal and/or deposit of money, most especially in savings accounts that you have access to, can be a great indication that someone’s attempting in concealing income from you. There may be hidden bond or stock that pays interests. Perhaps there is also stashing of money happening into a different savings account instead of your joint account. Check accounts that show where the money of your spouse is going. Any cancelled check is a sign that he or she is writing fake checks purposes to stash a certain amount elsewhere that you won’t be able to access. Should you suspect there’s this kind of trickery happening, request an order in discovering the account that was used, as well as where checks are deposited, if applicable.
- Credit card reports – it’s possible that your spouse is having an affair and you’re suspecting it to be so. Your spouse may be spending the joint income of your family on the person he/she is having an affair with. If it is troubling to you as you are the co-owner of assets, request a review of all credit card reports. A suspicious spending on lavish gifts that you have not received or any vacation that you have never went on can be evidence to support your suspicion of an affair.
It is advised that you consult with a reputable family and divorce attorney in Dubai like HHS Lawyers to help you uncover hidden assets.