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3 Reasons Not to Hide Your Assets in a Divorce

hiding assets during divorce

Sometimes, the omissions in a relationship are the most harmful transgressions of all. When spouses hide assets during divorce proceedings, their actions have consequences. Although they think they’ll benefit from their immoral behavior, marital fraudsters rarely emerge unscathed. Here are three perfect examples of why you’re better off following the law and remaining transparent.

1. You could face stiff civil penalties.

hiding assets during divorceA wife or husband hiding assets during divorce might think they got away with it scot-free because their spouses never contested the matter. Most soon discover, however, that such fantasy castles have astoundingly weak foundations.

Thanks to the omission rules in the family code, your ex might still get their hands on property you thought was safely hidden. If they can convince a judge that hidden assets found after divorce should have been dealt with during the initial proceedings, they can get the court to split them. The court might also decide that an offending spouse should pay their ex’s attorney fees or award them 100% of the asset versus one half.

2. It Could Cost You More Than Simply Disclosing

Mistakes are one thing, but in the realm of California divorce law, the borders between valid and illegal asset management practices couldn’t be drawn more clearly. Before trying to ferret away valuable possessions, consider the fact that you don’t have much legal wiggle room to begin with. The vast majority of couples that separate need to make full disclosures. For instance, each spouse must declare all of their income, assets, interests and liabilities as well as share two years’ worth of their tax returns or income information with the court.

The rule books are also explicit about omitting or failing to disclose required information. These acts constitute perjury, or lying under oath. Other offenses include breaching fiduciary duty or committing contempt of court. 

3. You’re not quite as crafty as you think.

hiding assets during divorceHiding community property is not easy or advisable. For every sneaky attempt to hide, there are a dozen methods that your spouse, their attorney or a judge might look for to uncover your behavior. In addition, the law also offers multiple tools that your spouse can use to expose your crimes, such as

  • Demanding to inspect property,
  • Asking that you answer questions in writing 
  • Requesting that you furnish specific documentation
  • Holding a deposition where you appear as if in court, get sworn in, and have to submit to an attorney examination.

Come Clean and Move on With Your Life

The path your life takes after a divorce reflects the groundwork you lay beforehand. Although you can appeal a hidden asset judgment, such court cases are complicated and lengthy, making it far wiser to stick to the rules in the first place. Get informed on how to handle your California separation or get a divorce done the right way by chatting with an attorney at Yelman and Associates. To request a complimentary case evaluation, call (619) 282-1107 or complete our online contact form.

Find more like this: California Divorce Law, Divorce Law

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