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What if Your Spouse Hides Assets During Divorce?


Divorce is an extremely difficult ordeal and unfortunately, it can bring out the worst in some people. One of the ways this happens is when one spouse tries to hide assets. People hide assets during divorce for many reasons. Sometimes, they simply want to keep funds for themselves while in other cases, they want to protect certain assets that they do not want to risk losing. Hiding assets during divorce is not a criminal offense, but it does have serious legal ramifications. Below, our Orlando property division lawyer explains further.

Penalties for Hiding Assets During Divorce 

Florida follows the equitable distribution model during property division hearings in divorce. This does not mean that property is split equally between the couple, but assets and liabilities are divided fairly. Any time someone hides property in a divorce to protect it from being divided, they face a number of different penalties. These include:

  • Reallocation of property: If the court finds that your spouse hid assets, the judge may award you a greater share of property. If you had to hire a private investigator to find hidden assets, your spouse may be ordered to pay for that expense. Additionally, a judge may also order your spouse to pay for your legal fees if they hid property during divorce.
  • Contempt of court: Contempt of court is the act of intentionally obstructing or defying a court. Hiding assets is often considered contempt of court. Most judges will find a spouse who hid assets to be in civil contempt. Still, both civil and criminal contempt of court result in high fines and even jail time.
  • Perjury: If your spouse lied about any property, they may face perjury charges. Perjury is a misdemeanor and has penalties that include high fines and jail time.

How to Determine if Your Spouse is Hiding Assets

 If your spouse is trying to hide assets, they are clearly not going to admit it to you. For this reason, it is critical that you know how to spot some signs of hidden assets.

In ideal situations, you should list all of your assets, liabilities, and cash flow from the start of your marriage. Still, in many cases by the time a couple gets divorced, it is often too late to use this offensive approach. If this is the case, it is important to look for any signs of change in your finances. Watch for sudden income decreases, missing bank statements, or even a behavioral change in your spouse. Working with an Orlando property division lawyer can provide you with the legal guidance you need.

Our Property Division Lawyer in Orlando Can Help 

At Anderson & Ferrin, P.A., our Orlando property division lawyer can help if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets during your divorce. We can help you find the property to ensure you receive the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at 407-412-7041 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our experienced attorney and to learn more about your legal options.



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