When undergoing divorce proceedings, it is imperative that each spouse provide full disclosure of their assets. It is never advisable to hide assets if you are heading for divorce. If you suspect that your spouse may be concealing assets, you should tell your lawyer, who will take you through the options you can use to ensure a fair and valid asset division process. This may include hiring a forensic CPA who specializes in finding hidden assets. Take steps to protect your financial interests, including efforts to uncover any assets your spouse may be hiding. If hidden assets are discovered, there are often severe consequences for the spouse who has chosen to conceal what they have.

What Happens if You Don’t Disclose Assets in a Divorce?

If it is found that one or both of the partners tried to hide any of their assets, it can cause a great deal of trouble for that partner, and possibly work in the other partner’s favor. Each party is legally required to disclose all of their assets, which means that failing to do so amounts to contempt of court. A judge may issue sanctions and require the spouse to pay the other’s legal fees, for example. The hiding of assets could even lead to a judge imposing higher alimony payments. In some cases, attempts to withhold assets during divorce can even lead to criminal charges. 

What is the Penalty for Hiding Assets in a Divorce?

If a spouse is caught hiding assets, the court will likely require them to pay the other spouse’s share of the assets to them. For example, if one spouse is found to have hidden $20,00 in assets, the court may require that they pay the other spouse $10,000. However, there is even more at stake: if a spouse is found to have concealed assets, they could face perjury charges, which carry up to four years of jail time. It is even possible that fraud charges could be brought against the guilty spouse. Fraud is a criminal offense that carries severe penalties. The court could also order the offending spouse to pay for all investigation and legal costs and award even more of the marital assets to the other spouse.

How Do You Uncover Hidden Assets in a Divorce?

Uncovering hidden assets often requires complex forensic investigation and is best left to a lawyer and specialized CPA. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets as you go into a divorce, you should immediately tell your attorney, who can then initiate the investigations. It would help if you could provide certain key documents that the attorneys and their investigators can use to trace any hidden assets. These include income tax returns, bank statements, loan applications, and credit card statements. You could also search through public records to find documents such as title deeds and car registration papers.

Hire Our Divorce Attorneys

Westover Law Group is a company of family law attorneys serving Southern California. Contact us if you are going into divorce proceedings and need a lawyer on your side. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, be sure to let us know so we can investigate further. Contact us for more information.