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What Happens if Your Ex Hides Assets?

When you’re going through a divorce, dividing your property can be a major bone of contention. While courts will typically allow parties to keep their separate assets, many couples (and judges) may disagree on what constitutes marital property. Others might want their net worth to appear lower, so they pay less in spousal and/or child support.

While it might be tempting to hide certain assets, it’s inadvisable. Courts can and will sanction parties who hide assets. Here’s what to do if your ex tries to hide property during your divorce.

Equitable property distribution

Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, as opposed to community property. The goal is to divide property fairly, on a case-by-case basis. While each spouse is entitled to a share, they might not get exactly half. Courts will consider the length of the marriage and how the spouses contributed (both financially and domestically) to determine how to split assets.

Consequences of hiding assets

During your divorce, you will have to provide financial disclosures to your spouse. These disclosures detail your property, from jewelry to retirement plans. If your spouse fails to report assets or provide financial disclosures, courts can order them to do so. Continuing to defy the order may prompt the judge to hold you in contempt. Contempt charges can result in jail time.

Furthermore, you may be deposed during the process. Depositions are live testimony, given under oath. If your spouse lies about assets during their deposition, that’s considered perjury. Your spouse may face monetary sanctions or perjury charges.

Ultimately, it’s best to be upfront and honest about your assets—even if that means your spouse gets a bigger share than you feel they deserve. If you suspect that your ex is hiding assets, talk to your divorce attorney right away.

The seasoned divorce lawyers at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in St. Paul, MN can guide you through your divorce process. Call today to schedule a consultation.

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