What is the penalty for hiding assets in divorce?
Maybe you’re considering hiding assets in divorce.
Or your spouse is hiding money in a divorce.
Either way, you need to know what the penalty for hiding assets in a divorce is.
In this article, you’ll learn about:
So, keep reading.
You think your spouse is going to be hiding assets in a divorce. You need a lawyer who is skilled at discovering hidden assets. This way, you don’t lose money that is rightfully yours. This way, you don’t leave the divorce with nothing to your name. You don’t have to start from scratch. Fill out the form below to work with attorneys who can find hidden assets for you.
What’s the penalty for hiding assets in divorce?
When you file for divorce, you have to fill out a financial affidavit form.
Both spouses have to disclose the property that they own.
When you file documents in court, those are being filed under oath.
Lying on these court documents means that you have committed perjury.
When you commit perjury, you will be held in contempt of the court.
And contempt of court can be a felony.
But that’s just the consequences the courts will place upon you.
The judge may give you another penalty for hiding assets in a divorce.
If you are hiding assets in divorce, the judge may make you:
So, let’s say you hide assets in your divorce.
The judge may make you:
Related: How Long Does A Divorce Take
What should you do if your spouse is hiding assets during a divorce?
If you have a divorce lawyer already, let them know immediately.
They can subpoena financial records from your spouse.
This allows them to investigate whether or not your spouse is hiding assets or money.
And then, they can present this evidence to the judge.
The judge will then ask your spouse to testify under oath about the financial records.
If they are hiding assets, the judge will decide how to punish them as mentioned above.
But, what if you’re not sure and you don’t want to tell the attorney yet?
In this case, you’ll have to get your hands on the financial records yourself.
Either by asking your spouse for them or getting them yourself.
As the spouse, you have the right to obtain any records your spouse has.
So, you can walk into any bank and ask for them.
Related: Questions to Ask A Divorce Lawyer
Normally, there are not criminal charges as a penalty for hiding assets in divorce.
Hiding assets in divore is contempt of court.
But civil contempt of court is not a misdemeanor charge like criminal contempt is.
So, there will not be any criminal charges for hiding assets.
Related: Wife Moves Out Before Divorce
Let’s talk about what to look out for when your spouse is hiding assets in a divorce.
Both wives and husbands hiding money before divorce is pretty common.
Some of the most common ways for husbands hiding money before divorce are:
If you think that your husband is hiding money before your divorce, check these out.
Related: How to Leave Your Husband
A husband withholding money during divorce is not the same as hiding assets in divorce.
But a stay-at-home mom divorcing will most likely encounter this too.
Especially if her husband is hiding money.
If your husband is withholding money during divorce, you can file for Pendente Lite.
Pendente Lite refers to temporary court orders.
The judge will issue a court order making your husband pay you an allowance.
This is so that you can afford the same standard of living you had during the marriage.
But, it will only last until the divorce is final.
This section is discussing scenarios that we see couples come up against.
Failure to disclose financial information in divorce is perjury.
Disclosed financial information in divorce is used to calculate:
Failure to disclose financial information in divorce can lead to your divorce being reopened later.
Yes, that means the judge can reopen your divorce case and start over.
If your divorce case is reopened, the judge will need to recalculate:
Removing marital property before divorce is final is illegal.
Removing marital property before divorce is final can be:
No matter how they are removing marital property before divorce, it’s still illegal.
If you suspect your spouse is doing this, gather evidence.
And make sure that you inform your divorce lawyer.
Related: Do You Have To Sign Divorce Papers
Some spouses transfer money before divorce into other accounts.
Their goal here is hiding money in a divorce in hidden accounts.
Most spouses will start to transfer money months or years before filing for divorce.
This way, they can build a stash of money that they plan on hiding during the divorce.
Transferring money before divorce is illegal under state law.
State law prohibits divorcing spouses from hiding marital property.
This falls under laws for marital waste.
Related: Family Law Attorney Payment Plans
What happens when these are hidden assets found after divorce?
You will have to reopen a settled divorce case.
To do this, file a “Motion To Set Aside A Judgement.”
This asks the judge to set aside their previous judgment and consider the new evidence.
Let’s say there are hidden assets found after divorce that your spouse hid.
In this case, the judge may award you up to 100% of that hidden asset.
For example, this lady lost her $1.3M lottery winnings after hiding them in her divorce.
Related: Filing for Divorce
Hidden assets in a divorce are discoverable.
To discover hidden assets in a divorce:
An attorney who is experienced at discovering hidden assets has the right team to find them.
They will subpoena your spouse to give up documents like:
If your spouse is really good at hiding assets for divorce, the attorney may hire an investigator.
Related: How Long Does Alimony Last
There is no penalty for hiding assets in divorce if they are separate property.
Separate property is property acquired prior to the marriage.
Your spouse does not have a claim to separate property.
Some examples of separate property are:
Marital property is property acquired after the couple has married.
Marital property is also separate property that has used the marital funds to upkeep.
Marital funds are any money earned by either party during the marriage.
An example is a rental property bought before the marriage.
If you used income earned during the marriage to fund the renovation, it’s marital property now.
Separate property is any money or property acquired prior to the marriage.
Related: Legal Reasons for Divorce
Community property states split all marital property 50/50 between the spouses.
Marital property includes any and all assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage.
Money and assets acquired before the marriage are not community property.
Unless you co-mingled marital funds with them.
Equitable distribution states split everything “equitably.”
It takes into account:
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This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.
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