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What can happen if I hide assets during my divorce?

Getting divorced can bring out behaviors and feelings that you may not think you were capable of. It can make people feel angry, hurt and fearful about their future, which may be unnerving when you don't typically experience those types of emotions. Between these feelings and the stress of a divorce, you may discover that you or your soon-to-be ex is making some questionable decisions.

One example of this can be seen when people try to hide assets before or after they or their spouse has filed for divorce. They make the mistake of thinking they are protecting themselves and their futures by moving money around, keeping bank accounts secret or concealing ownership of properties. This can be particularly tempting in divorces involving significant assets. However, hiding assets is illegal and people convicted of doing so can face some devastating repercussions.

To begin with, there are consequences for lying in court and on legal documents like the Financial Affidavit many people sign as part of their divorce. As noted in this Forbes article, these consequences can include steep fines and, in some cases, even jail time.

Further, if one person has been caught hiding assets in a divorce, his or her professional and social reputation and image can be destroyed; relationships with family, friends and others in the community can be irreparably damaged. Additionally, if you tried to hide assets, a judge may be more affected by the acts of dishonesty than anything else and make decisions that ultimately benefit the person who did not engage in such behaviors.

Hiding assets is a very serious claim that should not be taken lightly. Whether you are accused of doing this or believe your ex is doing this, legal support can prove to be crucial. With the help of your attorney, you can make sure you are in compliance with asset division requirements and thoroughly examine the financial details of your divorce in order to secure a fair resolution.

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