Divorce is one situation in Metro Detroit where some spouses hide assets to cheat their partners out of their share of the marital property. Many of them are not aware of how risky this type of behavior is. They may have motivation to hide information about assets and finances because of a sense of entitlement and negative feelings where they want to punish their partners. No matter their reasons for doing so, the temptation to keep more of the marital pot for themselves may be too much for them to ignore.

Here is a brief overview of the consequences that hiding assets can bring.

It is a crime

Hiding assets is an immoral act that is also illegal. In divorce, the courts require spouses to fully disclose all assets, marital and individual properties and financial accounts they have, and swear under oath they are being truthful. Any party who refuses to provide this information by way of omission or falsehood is committing a crime.

It deprives ex-partner and children of financial security

The law requires the even splitting of marital assets. However, there are factors that can result in a judge dividing the property up differently, such as if the division puts one person at a severe disadvantage. When a person lies about his or her income and assets to the divorce court and those assets remain hidden, his or her partner is unable to receive fair alimony, child support awards, and other assets and properties that can improve financial security.

It can result in additional penalties

If a spouse can prove his or her former partner is hiding assets, the judge may penalize the guilty party. The judge may order the party to pay the partner’s legal expenses and fines, and the spouse may receive more than half of the marital property and assets. The offender may also have his or her claims dismissed and face a sentence of incarceration.

Hiding assets is never a good move in a divorce. People can better protect their assets by planning for their divorces well in advance of filing and seeking out professional help.