The Dangers of Shielding Assets During a Divorce
Although financial issues are part of many divorces, money troubles don’t usually end when couples choose to dissolve a marriage.
In fact, many individuals are highly tempted to try hide assets from the other party, especially when a significant level of money and investments are at stake. Some actions to shield these resources may be deemed acceptable under an asset protection plan. But people often run afoul of the law, or risk seriously damaging their credibility before a judge who may rule unfavorably when he or she discovers attempts to cover the money trail.
Still, the temptation to do so may be particularly strong when one party owns a cash business. Experts warn that through the process of discovery these secret stashes are often discovered. Legal teams will actively look for unusual indicators, such as title transfers or uncommon transactions. They will also assign value to illiquid assets.
The value of the family fortune is also likely to be contested, but parties will have to provide testimony under oath about their assets and property. If someone lies about assets to hide them, they will be guilty of perjury or may face severe sanctions including monetary fines.
Failure to report assets — such as information about where accounts are held — can result in the court ordering a person to do so. Refusal means that a person may be held in contempt of court, and face possible jail time. In any event, if a judge deems an asset protection strategy to be inappropriate, it may damage the reputation of that party and harm their case.
If you suspect your former partner is trying to shield or hide important assets, speak with an experienced divorce attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates as soon as possible.