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The Danger of Hiding Assets During Your Minnesota Divorce

In Minnesota, when a couple divorces, they must make a number of decisions, including how to arrange child custody, if spousal maintenance payments will be made and how to divide their assets. In the best situations, these matters can be settled between the couple without necessitating court intervention. However, often divorces can be highly contentious and couples will struggle in reaching agreements on these matters.

When a divorce becomes bitter, couples may sometimes jockey for financial advantage over the other. In extreme circumstances, this can involve one spouse actually hiding assets from the other that would otherwise be subject to the property division process. Hiding assets is considered a fraud upon the court and anyone who engages in this activity faces serious consequences if they are caught.

Because Minnesota is a state where marital property is divided under an equal distribution standard, divorcing couples must submit an inventory of their assets for a court to decide how they will be divided. A person looking to avoid this equitable split may try to transfer assets to friends or family, launder cash through his or her business, physically hide the assets or simply fail to disclose the existence of certain assets.

While this may be tempting to a person who does not think they should have to share the property with their ex or who simply want to punish that person, the risks far outweigh any potential benefits. If a person is caught hiding assets, a Minnesota judge can impose severe legal fees and court fines on that person. Additionally, a judge may void pre-existing prenuptial agreements and otherwise punish the spouse. The cost of hiding assets is often much higher than the value of those assets.

When going through a divorce, it’s important to secure reliable legal counsel. To discuss your options today, contact the skilled Minnesota divorce lawyers at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in Minnesota.

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