You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have likely acquired significant assets during your marriage. Because Florida law requires judges to equitably distribute marital wealth, you can plan on receiving your fair share of assets. Still, you should be wary about the possibility of hidden ones.
If you are thinking about hiding marital assets in the leadup to your divorce, you must realize how reckless doing so is. On the other hand, if you suspect that your partner may hide marital wealth, you may be able to use the deception to your advantage. Either way, you must understand that the penalties for hiding assets during a divorce are severe in Florida.
Until your marriage officially ends, you may think a great deal about the outcome of your divorce. Specifically, you may focus on your financial future. If your spouse hides assets, he or she may face substantial divorce consequences. That is, if a judge uncovers the ruse, the honest spouse is likely to get more marital property than he or she otherwise may have.
Finding hidden assets can cost a considerable amount in investigative, legal and other fees. Because a truthful spouse should not have to cover these expenses, a judge may require the misleading partner to pay them. A judge may also hold whichever partner hides assets in contempt of court.
Finally, not disclosing assets or willfully hiding them may constitute criminal conduct. If your partner lies under oath, he or she may face prosecution for perjury. Fraud, money laundering, forgery and the commission of other crimes may also be necessary to hide assets or cover up illegal conduct.
Undoubtedly, hiding assets before or during divorce proceedings is a huge mistake. By understanding the penalties for hiding marital wealth in Florida, you can better plan for both avoiding serious consequences and receiving what is rightfully yours.