Is it a big deal to hide assets?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2022 | Divorce |

Hiding assets is extremely problematic. Though you may think that you can set aside assets for yourself or that your spouse will forget they exist, you can get into trouble for hiding assets during your divorce.

When you go through a divorce, the court expects you to disclose all your financial assets. The court expects you to be honest and transparent about your assets, because this is the only way for you and your spouse to separate your assets in a fair way.

You may want a larger share of your marital property, but hiding assets is not the right way to go about it. If you hide assets and get caught, there is a risk that:

  • The court may tell you that you have to pay the other party’s legal fees
  • You’ll see a court order that forces you to divide the asset with the other person
  • You could lose the asset to the other party as a penalty

It’s never a good idea to do anything that makes the judge frown upon your behavior. Being honest helps your case, but trying to hide assets will negatively influence it.

There are ways to find hidden assets

It may be the case that you believe that your spouse is hiding assets, so you want to do the same. It’s not advisable. Instead, know that there are methods of finding hidden assets, so you can get your fair share.

Some of the common ways people hide assets include:

  • Denying that the assets exist at all
  • Transferring the assets out of their name or giving them to another party to hold
  • Overpaying taxes
  • Claiming that an asset was stolen or lost
  • Making up debt, pretending that more is owed than is

These and other methods of hiding assets are not legal during a divorce case. If you believe that your spouse is hiding assets, let your attorney know. You can take steps to rediscover those assets and seek a portion of them for yourself. In the meantime, be transparent about the assets you know about, so you can have a law on your side.