Hiding Assets During Divorce Proceeding
Divorce is stressful, even in the most amicable of situations. In the case of a non-amicable divorce, where you may find that your spouse starts engaging in deceitful behavior, like hiding assets that should be divided equally, Florida law has strict procedures and consequences that should eliminate some of that stress.
In Florida, spouses going through divorce proceedings are required to complete a Family Law Financial Affidavit, which is meant to assure that both spouses are aware of each other’s assets and debts. Hiding assets from disclosure is illegal and can be followed by consequences, which we have included, listed below.
Reallocation of Marital Assets
One potential consequence when a spouse is caught hiding assets is reallocation of marital assets. The court may punish the offending spouse by reallocating a greater award of the marital assets to the innocent spouse. Under Florida divorce law, courts split assets equitably between spouses. The court is not required to split assets equally between the spouses and is empowered to divide assets unequally if justified by the circumstances. Accordingly, when a spouse tries to hide assets during a divorce, the innocent spouse can provide the spouse’s attempt as evidence to the court to justify a greater reward of marital assets.
Contempt of Court
Generally, an individual can be held in contempt of court if they behave in a way that contradicts the court’s authority, justice, or dignity. A spouse who hides assets during divorce proceedings after being ordered to disclose financial information can be held in contempt of court. Being held in contempt of court is a serious matter that may result in sanctions against the spouse, such as fines or jail time.
In some cases, a spouse who hides assets during divorce proceedings may be faced with criminal charges. This can occur when the spouse lies about the nature of his or her assets while under oath. Lying under oath is considered perjury. Perjury is when you knowingly make false statements while under oath during an official proceeding and is considered a criminal offense.
A spouse who hides assets during a divorce may end up losing more than he or she was hoping to hide. It is important to hire a family law attorney who understands how to react to such circumstances and uncover the dishonesty occurring in court. If you suspect that your spouse is attempting to hide assets during divorce proceedings, it is important to contact a Family law attorney sooner rather than later.
The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm has a team of attorneys with experience in Florida Family Law in Coral Gables, Florida. Our team of attorneys can help you navigate your legal options if you believe your spouse may be hiding assets from you.
We serve the entire state of Florida, so call us to set up an appointment to evaluate your options.