When a couple decides to end their marriage, they will need to divide assets. This is often one of the most contentious issues during the divorce process. It is not unusual for one or both parties in the divorce to attempt to hide assets during the property division process.
Some people simply don’t want to divide the marital assets, while others feel they are morally entitled to what they’re hiding. However, it is important to understand that hiding your assets is both unethical and illegal. To comply with Maryland’s divorce laws, each party in the divorce is required to provide a full asset disclosure during the divorce.
Here are some other important reasons you should never hide assets during the divorce process:
You could end up losing everything
A spouse who hid assets may think they got away with it as long as the other party did not contest the matter during the divorce process. However, this is never the case. Your ex can still get their hands in the assets you thought you safely hid if they discover what you did.
All they need to do is convince the court that the discovered hidden assets should have been split during the divorce. Not only could your ex-spouse be awarded 100% of the discovered assets, you could also be forced to pay the discovery fees and their attorney fees.
You could face prosecution
As part of the divorce process, both parties are required to make assets disclosures through testimony and court filings. When you file your divorce documents with the court, you do so under the penalty of perjury.
As such, a deliberate move to withhold some assets from the eyes of the court qualifies as perjury. The court could fine you and even sentence you to jail time as a result — leaving you with a criminal record.
Divorce can be messy and complicated. Even during the most amicable divorce, you need to protect your financial interests — but you need to do it within the confines of the law.