Can You Hide Money in Divorce?
Money and property are generally very important concerns when it comes to divorce. If you are someone with a significant amount of assets then the urge to hide them from your spouse is something you might feel. This mostly happens when the husband and wife do not get along well together and are angry with each other regarding something. But no matter how tempting the idea of hiding assets seem to you, it is not right and can get you in legal trouble.
The risk of being caught while trying to hide assets is very high in today’s world. This is mostly because family law attorneys are highly trained and they will discover any illicit attempts that you are making. Moreover, technology has advanced so much that nothing stays hidden for long.
Why Do People Try to Hide Assets in a Divorce?
Divorce is never easy and why a spouse is using illicit measures to hide assets in a divorce will vary from one situation to the other. Some of them are mentioned below –
- The divorce law states that the marital assets of the couple have to be split in case of divorce. But one party might not be in agreement with the jurisdiction regarding how they want to divide the pot.
- The chance of getting less in a divorce settlement becomes higher depending on a variety of factors like the length of your marriage, whether you live in an equitable distribution state or community property and the earning potential of each spouse.
- Undervaluing the earnings is seen as a common approach when the spouse wants alimony obligation or receive lower child support.
- Lastly, sometimes a person might want to see their spouse getting deprived of assets simply out of spite.
But money plays a big role in most of these reasons. If a spouse feels that they are not going to get a larger share, then they definitely have a motive to hide the assets.
Why Shouldn’t You Try to Hide the Assets?
It can be that you might get away while trying to hide the assets and prevent them from being included in the equitable distribution settlement or community property. But it is not worth the risk as there are several legal barriers and in hiding the assets, you are crossing them thus jeopardizing your future.
- There is a process during divorce proceedings, which is known as ‘discovery’. During this process, you along with third parties like banks, companies and so on are required to submit all the financial information. This has to be submitted to your spouse or your spouse’s attorney. Moreover, you will also have to state your assets and money while being under oath. Now, if you lie while doing that, you will be committing perjury. When caught, you will have to bear the perjury charge or any other monetary fine.
- Apart from this, in case you hesitate to provide the correct valuation of your assets, the court will give you the order to do so. Denying abiding by the court’s order will mean committing contempt of the court and so you can even receive jail time for that.
The rules for penalties vary from one state to another but every state will hold you legally responsible for trying to hide assets and you might face a lot of trouble.
What you should do is get a good divorce lawyer who can help you negotiate everything with ease. Your lawyer will then be responsible for protecting your interests and your assets. You will not have to burden your mind with all such things and you will get a fair divorce settlement too.