Clients approach their legal dispute with some degree of emotion. Even more so in family cases and financial proceedings
Understandably, clients approach their legal dispute with some degree of emotion. Even more so in family cases and financial proceedings, where personal relationships are involved and parties are emotionally distressed due to the breakdown of their relationship.
Solicitors are trained to advise clients of their legal position and the likely outcome of their case if the matter proceeds to the final hearing and the decision is left to the court. Some clients find it difficult to accept the logic behind the legal system and feel it is either unjust or does not fully address their concerns.
In some cases, a client may suspect that their partner is hiding assets or income in an attempt to reduce the matrimonial pot, but they cannot prove it. Clients often find it difficult to accept that the court may disregard their allegations, in the absence of any supporting evidence. There is a fine line between successfully discrediting the party suspected of hiding assets and the alternative of the client being presented as paranoid, unreasonably increasing legal costs and carrying out a witch hunt in search of a pot of gold.
I advise clients that the difference between knowing and proving can be enormous. Knowing is not enough to persuade the court that money is hidden away and unless it can be proven the court may look at the alleging party in a bad light. There could also be costs consequences if the matter proceeds to a final hearing and such allegations cannot be proven. Further, embarking on such a contentious journey is both stressful and expensive.
If you know or suspect your spouse is hiding assets or money, consider firstly how will you be able to prove it and secondly whether it would be financially beneficial to go through the process, taking into account the legal costs involved in proving your case.