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Although divorce is particularly tumultuous in general, it’s critical for spouses to be open and honest throughout the process. This is particularly important for determining the worth of their marriage’s community property so that it can be allocated equally between them.
When both spouses openly – and honestly – declare their income, assets, and obligations, the property partition process begins. All community and separate property is included in this, albeit the latter may not be considered for property partition. However, it must be provided to gain a complete picture of each spouse’s financial condition.
Sadly, this is also a moment when both spouses must be mindful of each other’s potential for deception, particularly when it comes to wealth concealment. It is not legal for someone to intentionally try to hide their property because all community and separate property must be declared. When the item being hidden is communal property, it is especially heinous because it is liable to equal division.
When it comes to assets, how can people hide them during a divorce?
There are a variety of methods that people try to hide their true assets in order to walk away from a divorce with more than they deserve.
People may try to empty bank accounts and sell assets in order to hide the money. They may decide to keep the valuables and sell them when the divorce is finalized. They may also have assets related to hidden business interests, bank accounts, and securities, even anonymously held cryptocurrencies.
The majority of the time, though, people resort to one of the oldest tactics in the book: entrusting money or property to a friend or family member while the divorce is pending. These may be justified as lawful loans or “gifts,” but if the other spouse was unaware of them or didn’t consent, it could be regarded as an attempt to keep some community assets out of the divorce.
What Should You Do If You Think Your Spouse Is Hiding Assets?
Check the statements for all of your jointly held bank accounts and credit cards for strange activity if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets. Unexpected withdrawals from a checking account, whether a significant sum or a series of smaller withdrawals over a period of time, should raise an eyebrow. Similarly, comparable forms of credit card transactions, such as huge overpayment of a credit card bill, can be mentioned.
You may discover activity that you should report to your attorney by looking over these statements. Your attorney can assist you in investigating what’s going on and bringing the behavior to the court’s attention if your spouse is funneling communal property somewhere else and isn’t being straightforward about where it went.
It may also behoove you to go through your home’s valuables and make sure everything is where it should be. If it isn’t, and your spouse claims they have no idea what happened to it, you should also consult with an attorney. Your spouse may be telling the truth, but they could also be selling goods that they believe you will miss and pocketing the proceeds.
In addition to all that, you should keep a watch out for documentation that imply communal property is being improperly diverted or hidden.
Is it a Punishable Offense to Hide Marital Assets?
It is illegal to conceal marital assets, and there are civil and criminal sanctions for doing so. If the court discovers that one of the spouses was hiding assets during the divorce procedures, the other spouse may be awarded more of the marital property. If the hidden assets cannot be recovered because they were spent or sold, the value of the violating spouse’s portion of the remaining marital property may be deducted in whole. The court may also order the violating spouse to pay for any investigations that were conducted in order to uncover the hidden assets.
Hiding marital assets during a divorce in California can lead to a perjury conviction. Perjury is making a false statement or telling a lie intentionally and knowingly, which is what might happen when someone fails to declare all of their financial assets after divorce. Perjury has a maximum sentence of four years in prison.
Do You Require Legal Help?
Spodek Law Group can offer California clients the legal advice and support they need to go through a painful divorce. Property split is frequently the most acrimonious aspect of a divorce since it includes two people attempting to untangle their financial life and come out on top. Rest assured that our firm’s mission is to give our clients with the representation they require to obtain the best possible results during a difficult time in their life.
The skilled California divorce attorneys at Spodek Law Group can assist you should you find yourself involved in a property distribution dispute, if have any suspicions that your spouse is hiding marital assets, or if have been accused of hiding marital assets from your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
To learn more about our services, please contact us immediately. To reach a seasoned and caring attorney who can assist you, please contact us online or by phone today.
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