If you’re in the midst of filing for divorce, you may be concerned about how your money and property will be divided. If you have a substantial amount of assets or cash, it can be quite intriguing to attempt and hide those assets from your spouse. However, hiding assets before a divorce can result in serious legal trouble.
There are several methods to hide assets during a divorce. For example, if you own real estate in just your name, you may try to transfer that property out of your name by signing the deed over to a family member or friend. Regarding bank accounts, a person can withdraw large sums of money and place it into a safe deposit box titled under someone else’s name. A person may also make costly purchases right before the divorce, in hopes of reselling the items post-divorce.
So how can you find out if someone is hiding assets?
First, there is a legal process known as “discovery,” which is a way for divorcing spouses to collect information from one another and third parties, including banks, employers, companies, and even 401(k) plan administrators. Throughout this process, you (and third parties) must provide relevant financial information to your spouse (or his/her attorney). You will most likely be deposed, meaning you’ll have to give a live testimony, under oath, about assets and property.
If you lie during discovery or your deposition in an attempt to hide assets, you’ve committed perjury. Committing perjury in California is a felony offense, which is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of four years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Furthermore, if you simply fail to report assets or provide financial information to your spouse during a divorce, a court can order you to do so. If you defy a court order, you can be held in contempt of court, which could result in jail time.
So rather than hide your assets, obtain high-quality legal representation from an experienced divorce lawyer. Your attorney can help protect your assets and your best interests, acting as your advocate in order to obtain the most favorable outcome possible.
If you are interested in filing for divorce in San Diego, CA, request a consultation with our experienced family law attorneys at Cage & Miles, LLP today.