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What are the penalties for hiding assets during divorce?

| Oct 7, 2020 | Divorce & Legal Separation |

As a couple in Colorado, you have a lot of hurdles to face during the split. Some are easier to predict than others. Some can come as total surprises. For example, many people who expect financial integrity from their partner may find they have hidden assets.

After uncovering these assets, you may wonder if your partner will face consequences for attempting to hide them from you. The short answer is yes.

Where does your financial affidavit fit in?

Forbes addresses the potential consequences of attempting to hide assets during divorce. They start by acknowledging the financial affidavit you both signed. This is a necessary document in all contested divorce cases, and even some uncontested ones. By signing the financial affidavit, you are claiming to testify honestly about your assets. This includes debt, expenses, income and more.

Penalties for perjury

Thus, if your partner lies about assets with full knowledge, they commit an act of perjury. The court can hold them in contempt. In Colorado, perjury in the first degree is a Class 4 felony. Your partner could face up to 6 years in prison. In addition, they also face a fine that ranges from $2,000 to $500,000. Under state law, intentionally lying under oath is a first degree perjury offense.

On top of that, the judge overseeing your case may demand further penalty. For example, they may require your partner to pay for your legal expenses. They may award you some or all of the discovered hidden assets, too. Attempting to hide assets almost always results in a heftier loss than if your partner followed protocol and did things the right way.