Hiding Assets in Divorce is a Terrible Idea: Here's Why
Property division is one of the most defining aspects of divorce, and how it’s handled can have a significant long-term impact on an individual and their future. As such, property division matters are often difficult to resolve, especially when parties contest the characterization or division of certain assets as community property or separate property or when parties seek unequal division of assets They can also be more complicated when one spouse attempts to conceal assets with the hope of avoiding such assets as part of the divorce process.
At Hendershot, Cannon & Hisey, P.C., our Houston divorce attorneys draw from decades of combined experience to provide the counsel clients need to make informed decisions and effectively protect their interests. This is why we never advise clients to hide assets during the divorce process – doing so is always a terrible idea. Additionally, we work with clients who need assistance in searching for assets that may be hidden by a spouse during a divorce.
To put it simply, you should never hide assets in divorce. This is largely because doing so can result in a number of legal consequences, including potential criminal charges:
- Contempt – Failing to disclose assets in a divorce case will typically result in a court order that requires you to disclose all pertinent financial information to your spouse. Defying a court order by continuing to not provide this information is a willful violation, and it can result in a judge holding you in contempt of court. Furthermore, concealing assets are typically in violation of an injunction put in place to protect and preserve the parties’ assets during litigation.
- Post divorce lawsuit – If you failed to disclose assets during the divorce suit but it is discovered later after the divorce is finalized, the Family Code allows a party to go back to Court to seek that the asset be divided later on.
Hiding assets can also impact your credibility during the course of a divorce case. When concealment is discovered, a spouse will lose credibility in court, which means that any arguments they raise or evidence they provide regarding divorce matters will be viewed through the filter of knowing that they have previously lied or willfully disobeyed court orders.
Fortunately, most people understand the huge risks associated with hiding assets during divorce, and elect to not engage in fraudulent actions that can subject them to liabilities. However, not everyone obeys the law. When a spouse does conceal assets, the non-asset-hiding spouse can work with experienced attorneys to help them investigate and discover how certain assets were concealed. Our legal team assists clients is protecting their assets in a divorce through meticulous reviews of financial documents, legal actions that compel disclosures, and aggressive strategies that ensure the rules of property division are followed.
If you believe your spouse may be hiding assets in a divorce, you have rights and options. Our team Hendershot, Cannon & Hisey, P.C. is readily available to review your case and discuss how we can help protect your rights during property division and all other divorce matters. As a firm with the experience and resources to tackle tough issues, we also provide comprehensive representation during matters of complex property division and high asset divorce.
To discuss your case with an attorney, call (713) 909-7323.