Hidden assets create situations where one spouse is inherently being taken advantage of in divorce cases. Especially when one party has significantly more assets than the other, or where the divorce is contentious for other reasons, hiding assets may seem like a good idea to one or both spouses. Assets can be hidden in many ways ”“ false personal loans, lying about tax returns or bills, etc. If hidden assets are discovered ”“ and there are many ways to find them ”“ the dishonest party can find themselves losing much more than they would have had they disclosed assets honestly.
What if Someone Hides Assets Successfully and They Are Not Discovered During the Divorce Process?
The spouse will have to continue to hide the assets indefinitely, because if evidence surfaces, there are serious penalties. Most divorce settlements include a clause requiring full asset disclosure, and violating that clause can land the couple right back in the system to renegotiate the terms of the divorce. Now that one party has shown a lack of credibility, the courts are going to be much less kind to that party when redistributing the marital assets. The dishonest party can face civil penalties, like having to pay for the legal costs of the innocent party. Criminal penalties are also a possibility, such as charges of perjury for lying under oath about marital asset worth.
If the divorce did not include a disclosure clause, the innocent spouse can still petition to reopen the case or file civil charges against the lying spouse for damages.
If you believe that your spouse is deliberately hiding assets, speaking to a Denver divorce attorney can help.