When it comes to dividing assets in a divorce, some parties may try to hide a large bank account or properties from their spouses. Not wanting to share that piece of asset is one of the common reasons, especially if there are so much hate and resentment in the relationship. Some may feel that their ex is undeserving of that money and therefore want it to remain theirs alone.
Colorado Springs divorce attorneys note that there are several methods of hiding assets and properties in divorce. These include:
- Reporting lower income
- Transferring assets from another account
- Undervaluing a piece of real estate
- Giving property or assets to family members (with the hope of getting it back)
- Overstating debts or reporting higher expenses
- Letting friends or relatives borrow money
- Faking or exaggerating business expenses
- Making large purchases (with the hope of selling it after divorce)
Is there a chance that I can get away with it?
If you are going through divorce and thinking of doing the same, it is easy to rationalize your actions. The sad part is doing so can land you in some legal troubles. Apart from destroying your credibility, you can also face serious penalties. Hiding assets is not legal, regardless of the type of marital property rules (community property or equitable distribution) the state follows.
There may be a chance that you can get away with concealing some of your assets, but do take note that there are risks if decide do so. Also, you have to remember that both parties need to disclose all assets and income and provide a testimony that the information provided is accurate. If you lie and then get caught, you may face monetary fines and perjury charges.
What are the consequences?
If you fail to provide a complete financial declaration, the court will then order you submit them. Ignoring or disregarding the court order may result in incarceration or being held in contempt. Other penalties for hiding assets include:
- Criminal charges (for perjury and contempt of court)
- Receiving a smaller part of the assets
- Requiring the guilty party to the pay attorney fees of their ex
- Awarding or giving the uncovered assets to the innocent party
Property distribution is not the only thing affected by hiding assets. This mistake also has an impact on alimony and child support. If the lies remain hidden, the innocent party may not get fair child support, alimony, and other assets and properties that can improve their financial health. This can also deprive the kids that support awards they deserve.
What is the right approach?
Instead of finding ways to hide your assets, it is better to work with a reliable divorce attorney. The right lawyer can protect your assets, rights, and interests, while helping you achieve a fair settlement. They can also help you uncover the truth if you think that your spouse is not being fully honest about their financial declaration.
It is also important not to let your emotions govern your decisions. This is especially true in the case of punishing your spouse or fighting over things that don’t really matter. You need to pick your battles and ask your lawyer to help you fight for what’s worth it.
Don’t mess with the law by trying to conceal your assets. Declare your finances truthfully to avoid problems during and after the settlement.