Falsifying Financial Information During a Divorce Can Have Serious Consequences
Although we often do not consider it as such, a divorce is the end of a financial relationship just as much it is a romantic relationship. When a couple gets married, they combine not only their personal lives but also their finances. When a married couple divorces, courts must decide how to divide the property, assets, and debt which the married couple owns. The courts must also consider whether either spouse should be ordered to pay child support or spousal maintenance (formerly called alimony) to the other. In order to make these decisions, courts rely on both parties’ complete honesty and transparency regarding their financial situations. When one or both spouses are not honest regarding their finances during a divorce, there can be serious consequences which significantly complicate the divorce process.
How Do Spouses Misrepresent Their Financial Status?
A spouse lying about their assets, property, income, or debt is not as easy to spot as you might think. There are many methods unscrupulous spouses use to hide their true financial status from the courts. A spouse being untruthful about his or her finances may:
- Sign real estate deeds over to others;
- Take out money from his or her bank account(s) and hide it elsewhere;
- Exaggerate or minimize debts;
- Conceal valuables such as antiques or jewelry at a family member or friend’s house;
- Falsify financial records of a self-owned business;
- Lie about retirement accounts or stock options;
- Overpay or underpay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS);
- Make an unusual amount of cash withdrawals on debit cards; or
- Make unusually large purchases prior to the divorce being finalized.
Consequences and Penalties of Hiding Assets or Falsifying Finances
Spouses found to be hiding financial information during their divorce proceedings are at the mercy of the judge presiding over the divorce. The judge may impose sanctions, or financial penalties, that the deceptive spouse is required to pay. Furthermore, a judge also has the authority to make a spouse relinquish his or her share of a remaining asset to compensate for the assets he or she lied about. Those who are found to have falsified financial information during their divorce can also be required to pay more support to their spouse. If a person repeatedly attempts to deceive the court regarding finances during a divorce, he or she can even be charged with contempt and possibly be arrested.
A Law Firm Ready to Work for You
If you have further questions regarding misrepresented finances during a divorce, The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates is here to help. To schedule a confidential consultation with one of our experienced Geneva family attorneys, call 630-232-9700 today.