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Am I allowed to hide money or assets during a divorce?

Posted on November 7, 2018

It’s no secret that a divorce carries with it some serious financial repercussions. Depending on the imbalance of finances between the two parties in the relationship, the equalization process could result in some serious gains or losses.

This means that a thought might come to mind about whether or not you can hide some of your money or assets in order to gain an advantage during your divorce. And that same thought may have come to mind for your spouse as well.

But it’s important to be clear that hiding financial information during a divorce is illegal and comes with serious consequences.

Let’s take a closer look at this topic:

A man hiding money from his wife before a  divorceWhat happens if you are caught lying during your divorce?

During a divorce, you will be required to sign a financial affidavit disclosing your financial information, including all assets, liabilities, income and expenses.

Signing this document is the equivalent of being under oath, so the punishment of being caught in a lie is taken just as seriously. The severity of the consequences vary from region to region, but at the very least you could expect to have to pay fines, and in more severe cases it could have a substantial impact on the final rulings or even result in jail time.

With a quick Google search, you can find all kinds of ways to “rearrange” assets in order to circumvent the system, but all these creative ways to cheat the system are likely to come back and bite you in the end.

The Court will frown upon a party who doesn’t come to Court “with clean hands”. If you are caught dissipating assets or neglecting to disclose them openly, the Court may draw an adverse inference from this and your actions will taint all of your testimony; the Court will simply find you less credible. It may directly impact you financially as well if the judge decides to award costs to the other side for your behaviour.

What if you suspect your partner is hiding assets?

If you have noticed a few details that seem to raise red flags and suggest that your partner is hiding assets, you should bring it to the attention of your lawyer. Things you might want to pay attention for include:

  • Secrecy or unwillingness to disclose information
  • Expensive purchases
  • Large monetary gifts to friends
  • New bank accounts
  • Changes to business payments or status
  • Items missing from their disclosure

Your family lawyer will have experience in dealing with this kind of deception and can help you form a plan for how to uncover some answers. While you certainly wouldn’t want to think that your partner is capable of this kind of deceit, it’s important for your long-term finances to make sure that all the details are correct.

Have a chat with your lawyer

You should be open to leveraging legal knowledge and experience from your family lawyer. They are part of your team, ready and willing to help make sure that you get what is fair during your divorce. Furthermore, everything you tell your lawyer is strictly confidential and can never be used against you.

Epstein & Associates has helped thousands of clients get through their divorce with fair results; why not meet one of their lawyers for a free initial half-hour consultation?

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