When you’re thinking of getting a divorce, you’ll naturally be concerned about the division of your assets and money, especially if you and your spouse have a bad relationship. Let’s say you have a substantial amount of assets, and you’re tempted to hide them, especially if you think you’re responsible for the majority of them. You think only you have the right to them — or maybe you’re simply mad at your spouse.
You’re not alone. Many people think along these lines, since the law requires that all marital assets must be divided in a divorce.
Why You Must Never Hide Assets
You may have a slim chance of getting away with hiding your assets before divorce so that they won’t be included in an equitable distribution or community property settlement. Orem divorce attorneys from Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. say by hiding your assets, you’re taking an enormous risk that may actually land you in jail.
All states require discovery. This legal process is an effective way for divorcing couples to collect pertinent information not only from each other, but from third parties like banks, employers, companies, and 401(k) plan managers.
During the discovery process, the divorcing couple and all the other third parties will provide pertinent financial information to your spouse’s divorce attorney, and vice versa. You and your spouse will undergo deposition, where you’ll be required to deliver a live testimony, under oath, regarding your property.
In the event that you lie under oath or during the discovery and you get caught, you’ll be charged with perjury and will be slapped with hefty fines. In addition, even if you failed to report assets or financial information, the court may order you to comply.
When you refuse to comply with the court’s order, you’ll be held in contempt — you may face jail time. Instead of trying to hide your assets, ensure that your assets and interests are protected without breaking any laws.