While it might be tempting to hide a portion of one’s assets during a divorce, not being upfront about assets can lead to serious consequences. Hiding or misrepresenting assets might include a person lying about their income, hiding or undervaluing property from their spouse, hiding a portion of their savings, claiming that their expenses are higher than they really are or lying about the amount of debt that they have.
Studies have shown that a large percentage of people hide money and property from their spouse, even if they’re not filing for a divorce. During property division negotiations, a person might be tempted to continue hiding their assets to keep them from being divided or awarded to their spouse. However, lying about one’s assets can have serious legal consequences.
If a person tries to hide their assets, they may be charged with perjury. While the penalties vary across different states, the individual might have to pay their spouse’s attorney fees or even face jail time. During the divorce process, a client should always tell their lawyer if they suspect that the other party is hiding or lying about their assets. The lawyer might be able to help them resolve the issue.
How to get help with property division
Asset division can be one of the most difficult aspects of filing for divorce. Every piece of marital property must be divided, including cars, houses, investments, businesses, retirement savings, debts and other assets. If an individual is having trouble negotiating with their former spouse, they might find it easier to hire a lawyer.
A lawyer may be able to help a client navigate the property division process so that they can get their share of the assets. The lawyer might also help prepare a court case if the issue is presented to a judge.