All divorcing couples are required to honestly disclose all their assets, including income, expenses and debt. It’s a legal requirement. Sadly, some people give in to the temptation to lie in order to keep some of their assets to themselves during the divorce process in order to manipulate support orders and the division of property.
Instances of one or both parties hiding assets during divorce are particularly high during a bitter divorce case. The temptation is to hide assets in order to benefit financially from the divorce and/or punish their spouse. Tempting as it is, hiding assets also comes with consequences. Moving from being tempted to acting on the temptation is a reckless action. Considering this, it may surprise you to learn that many do attempt to hide assets using a number of different tricks:
- Hiding, understating or undervaluing marital property
- Exaggerating debts
- Reporting lower than actual total income
- Reporting higher than typical expenses
A spouse who is hiding assets during divorce is hoping to keep more of the marital property for themselves while keeping their spouse from receiving their fair share. The strategy is misguided, unethical, and illegal. But many still engage in this type of behavior. The courts see it again and again. In fact, the National Endowment for Financial Education published statistics stating that approximately 31% of US adults who combine their assets with a spouse or partner admit to behaving deceptively about finances. Women are also more likely than men to say that their spouse or partner lied to them about money, debt or finances in general (65% of women stated their spouse had lied to them about money while only 47% of men claimed the same thing).
If you have questions about the division of assets during divorce, the disclosure of assets or if you fear that your spouse is hiding assets, please get in touch with one of the experienced divorce attorneys at Aronow Law PC.