The truth is, you can never be 100% certain that your ex isn’t hiding some assets somewhere, especially when we’re talking about divorce.
That said, most parties who enter the collaborative divorce process do so because they sincerely want to avoid an ugly legal battle and would prefer to settle things amicably. With this in mind, both parties are asked to sign a statement affirming full and voluntary disclosure of all assets and income. This document is signed under penalty of perjury and relies on the couples’ ability to tell the truth.
The trade-off for this truth-telling is that you won’t be spending your money on costly discovery tactics such as subpoenas, depositions and interrogatories, so its certainly to your benefit to just tell everything up front.
In addition, the lawyers also agree to withdraw if they know their client is hiding assets or using stalling tactics to avoid putting everything on the table. This helps to ensure that all parties are as honest as possible throughout the process.
If it is later discovered that one spouse was hiding assets, the innocent spouse can pursue legal action for fraud against his or her ex.
For more on getting the most from a collaborative divorce, take a look at the informative book Divorce Without Court: A Guide to Mediation and Collaborative Divorce.