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Hiding assets is not a game you want to play during a divorce

As you may have already started to notice, divorce can be a difficult process. From child custody decisions to dividing assets and liabilities, a divorce can raise a plethora of legal questions that require the best of answers. One such legal question has to do with dividing assets and it goes as follows:

Should I worry about hidden assets when it comes to my divorce?

Because not every divorce is the same, it’s difficult to give our California readers a one-size-fits-all response. What we can do is describe how our state handles division of property and the problems that can arise if a spouse decides to hide assets.

In order to get an accurate account of all assets and liabilities, couples should disclose their financial information during the divorce process. This allows couples to differentiate between separate property and community property, which will then establish what is subject to equitable distribution during the division process.

In some cases though, a spouse has been known to hide assets and not report these hidden funds. Frequent readers of our blog saw this happen in our June 3 post about a husband who invested money in bitcoins as a way of concealing the couple’s true wealth prior to dividing property. It’s believed that he intended on reclaiming the hidden assets once the divorce had been finalized and non-hidden assets had already been divided.

But as this case showed, a person can encounter legal ramifications for hiding assets. It can also complicate things like property division because it is not giving the court an accurate representation if the couple’s assets and liabilities. This means that one spouse may get a worse deal than they would have if all assets had been disclosed.

Whether this becomes a situation for you or not, we hope that this post has pointed out the fact that it could happen and stresses the importance of getting legal help if it does.

Source: Wwlp.com, “Legal Minute with Cooley Shrair: Transferring or Hiding Assets in a Divorce,” Michelle Misiaszek, July 2, 2014

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