In every divorce, each party must sign an affidavit stating their assets and debts. This is so that both parties — and the court — is aware of the holdings of each spouse and can move forward with equitable distribution. Unfortunately, some divorcees get the idea that it’s beneficial for them to hide or obscure their assets instead of reporting them so they don’t take the risk that those assets will be shared in any way with their ex. This practice is illegal and can make for some very tough consequences.
How Assets Are Hidden
There are many different ways you can attempt to hide assets during the process of divorce, including:
- Saying you make more than they actually do. It’s crucial that you report your income accurately and bring the financial documents to prove what you make either through your job or a business.
- Saying you owe more than you actually do. It’s as important to report your debts accurately — both debts in your name and your name and your ex-spouse’s name — as it is to accurately report your income.
- Saying you have fewer assets than you do. Whether you transfer an asset to a friend or family member quickly before the divorce with the intent of transferring it back to yourself after the divorce is final, or you simply undervalue your assets, claiming to have less in assets than you really do is against the law.
- Saying that you have more expenses than you actually do. It’s common to “round up” when estimating your expenses, but rounding up too much can get you into trouble later if it’s considered by the court to be false reporting.
Penalties for Hiding Assets
Hiding assets is serious and if the judge presiding over your divorce case finds that you’ve been doing just that, you could be dealing with some very life-altering penalties. The judge may decide that all assets found will be awarded to your ex-spouse, or the judge may order you to pay all of your ex-spouse’s attorney fees and court costs. There’s also the risk that a judge could decide to incarcerate you for being in contempt of court. Simply put, it’s not worth it.
Contact a Naples Family Divorce Lawyer Today
Whether you’re in the process of getting a divorce or are simply considering your options, it’s important that you discuss your needs with an experienced Florida divorce attorney. Dissolving your marriage isn’t easy and at the Law Office of Kevyn Noonan Hayes, PA, we can provide you with the support you need. Call now for a consultation at 239-591-6248.