3 possible consequences of hiding assets during divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2021 | Family Law |

Each spouse must list all their income, assets and liabilities in a financial disclosure during the early stages of the divorce process. The court may use this information to determine what an equitable asset division would look like and render decisions about child and spousal support. 

Unfortunately, it is not unusual for one or both spouses to attempt to hide assets in hopes that the court won’t account for them when ruling on property division. It’s illegal for spouses to hide their assets like this. 

Here is what is likely to happen if the court discovers that you’re hiding assets during your divorce. 

Asset reallocation

The court may decide to award your spouse a larger portion of your marital assets as compensation when deciding on property division if they discover that you hid assets. Your spouse may have to justify to the court why they deserve more of them, though. The court may also order you to cover your spouse’s legal costs and private investigator costs if they decide that you were deceptive in hiding assets. 

Contempt of court charges

Hiding assets during a divorce may result in your facing contempt of court charges. The court may sentence you to jail, depending on whether they hold you in criminal or civil contempt of their order.

Possible perjury charges

You may face perjury charges for lying under oath during your divorce proceedings. This is a misdemeanor that can result in a fine or imprisonment. You may additionally face charges for intentionally misleading the court while trying to hide assets. 

Divorce can be a very difficult undertaking. Sometimes, divorce can bring out the worst in people, like attempting to hide assets. There are many reasons why a spouse may be tempted to hide assets. However, it is important to understand that you may face serious penalties for doing so.