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The consequences of hiding marital assets during divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2022 | Family Law

When a couple decides to divorce, it is not uncommon for spouses to become suspicious of their partners’ activities. Sometimes, they may even fear that the other party is trying to hide assets. This fear is often informed by a number of factors such as unexplained cash withdrawals from the marital account and questionable purchases. 

During the divorce process, the court will expect both parties to declare what they own (assets and debts) for purposes of fair division in accordance with the provisions of California marital property law. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for some couples to lie about assets. It is important to understand that hiding marital assets can lead to serious consequences if you are found out. 

Here are two reasons why assets should not be hidden during a divorce. 

Hiding marital assets impacts property division

Whether marital or separate, assets impact various aspects of the divorce such as alimony, child support and fair asset distribution. During the divorce, the court will endeavor to divide marital assets in a manner that it deems fair to both parties. It will also apply the principle of fairness when ruling on alimony and child support. Thus, if the court learns that one spouse is hiding assets in an attempt to pay less in child support or alimony or deny the other spouse what is rightfully theirs, action may be taken. 

Hiding marital property could be an offense

By declaring what you own to the court, you will be committing to the principle of honesty. Any deliberate dishonesty could be deemed perjury. A conviction for perjury can lead to fines and jail time. 

There is no doubt that divorce can be an emotional undertaking. With the appropriate legal guidance, you can ensure that you obtain a fair settlement.