Divorce can get ugly—one minute you’re lamenting over years of hard work and effort that you put into your relationship, and the next minute, the same sadness is fueling your anger on why your partner couldn’t do enough to sustain the relationship.
No matter what emotion rules you during a divorce, it’s safe to say that it’s a very emotional time that has the potential to cloud your judgment—and more often than not, it does…
Your anger or sadness may justify a few actions you may want to take against your partner—like hiding your assets during the divorce—but let’s face it, no good ever came out of impulsive decisions made while you were in an emotionally-charged state.
We’re not here to invalidate your feelings and emotions; we’re here to guide you from a legal standpoint by breaking down why hiding your assets during a divorce may not be in your best interests.
Let’s delve deeper into this discussion.
Hiding Assets During Divorce Proceedings
California is a community property state in which the spouses are considered a single community.
Any property acquired during the marriage is owned by both partners equally—regardless of whether one partner is unaware of it. Whether it’s a newly acquired property or money, everything is jointly owned.
This increases the chances of partners hiding assets from each other during divorce proceedings to get a better outcome.
Understating the value of assets also falls in this category. If an asset’s value is marked less than its real value through a dishonest appraisal, it’s considered fraud. In addition to that, understating your income is also fraud, as a spouse’s income counts as an asset.
Why You Shouldn’t Hide Assets
Most divorce proceedings have heightened distrust between both parties. As such, one party may suspect the other of hiding their assets. Any red flags or signs of deception could lead to requests for a third-party forensic accountant to identify discrepancies. If financial information that wasn’t previously mentioned is brought to light, you could face harsh penalties.
What Are The Penalties for Hiding Assets?
The consequences of lying, misleading, or hiding financial assets warrants a penalty from the court of law—the severity of which depends on the nature and extent of the deception.
A few common penalties include a greater distribution of assets to the other spouse, perjury charges, or a payment of the other spouse’s attorney fees.
From a legal standpoint, lying is a costly proposition compared to being upfront about your property and assets in the first place.
Going through a divorce is a stressful time when one should get all the help they need to ensure a better outcome. Any mistakes due to impulsive emotions can be costly. That’s why you need a professional divorce attorney by your side who understands your case, exercises empathy, and is well-equipped to provide you with legal counsel.
If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer in Chico, CA, get in touch with Marquez Law Offices.
We have a team of expert divorce lawyers that will guard your interests and ensure the protection of your assets in case of any red flags.
Find out more about our services here.