Divorce is a complicated topic on a good day — let alone if your spouse might be dishonest about the total sum of your marital property.
Hidden assets pose a problem to courts since it may affect how long the divorce may take. It may also result in an unfair distribution.
Types of asset disclosures
During a divorce, you may make or inspect voluntary asset disclosures and make formal requests for involuntary disclosures of your spouse.
Voluntary disclosures are things you and your spouse disclose freely. This includes bank accounts, vehicles and gifts. In all this, your spouse may forget to mention something or a missing detail may be intentional.
Involuntary disclosures, or interrogatories, are formal requests for asset information your spouse must comply with within a specified time frame.
Types of hidden assets
Secrecy around your marital assets may include self-employment you are unaware of, unknown bank accounts or expensive gifts to children.
According to CNBC, more than 20 million Americans may own cryptocurrency, which has become a tool of asset hiding that often requires forensic accountants to uncover.
Uncovering hidden assets
Forensic accounts and other investigators are able to look through long histories of finances and reports. This way any discrepancies may come to light. But this often extends the length and cost of the divorce process to get to the bottom of things.
Penalties for hidden assets
Lying about the total sum of your marital assets is lying to the courts. That means potential charges of contempt and perjury. It may result in fines, jail time or even a changed distribution of assets.
In the end, it may be best to be honest about all the assets you are aware of and diligent in finding any you are not.