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What are the consequences of hiding assets during divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2022 | blog, Family Law |

If you are on the verge of divorcing your spouse, the two of you already may not see eye-to-eye on financial matters. After all, according to a recent survey, financial disagreements are responsible for more than 30% of divorces. Your money clashes may not end when you file your divorce petition, unfortunately.

In North Carolina, divorcing spouses typically split marital assets equitably. Still, in an effort to receive an oversized share or even to hurt you, your soon-to-be ex-husband or -wife may try to hide marital assets from you. If that happens, your spouse may be vulnerable to three specific consequences.

Contempt of court

While your marriage is certainly personal, it also involves the state. Therefore, to end your marriage, you effectively either must file a lawsuit or respond to one. You and your spouse also must comply with court rules and the judge’s orders, including making certain financial disclosures. If your spouse is not honest when making these disclosures, he or she may be in contempt of court.

Criminal charges

It is not difficult to imagine how an unscrupulous spouse may violate federal or state laws when trying to hide assets. If your husband or wife commits fraud, forgery, perjury or another crime, criminal charges may soon follow.

Loss of wealth

No judge in the Tar Heel State or anywhere else is likely to reward a spouse who hides assets intentionally and unfairly. At a minimum, after you uncover your spouse’s tactics, you can expect the judge in your case to award the hidden assets to you. Your spouse may also be in store for additional court-ordered financial penalties.

Ultimately, if you suspect your spouse is not being truthful with you about marital finances, it is advisable to use all available legal options to ensure you receive your fair share.