If you are going through a divorce, you may already know you have an affirmative obligation to disclose your marital assets to both your soon-to-be ex-spouse and the court. The primary purpose of this disclosure is to ensure the equitable division of your marital estate.
While you are an honest and law-abiding person, you may not trust your spouse to behave ethically during your divorce. If your husband or wife tries to deceive you and the court by hiding marital wealth, he or she may encounter some serious consequences.
Loss of hidden assets
According to reporting from NBC News, many individuals commit some financial infidelity, where they lie about money matters during their marriages. When lies turn into hiding assets during divorce proceedings, though, judges in Colorado tend to award the hidden assets to the honest spouse. Your spouse may also have to reimburse you for the costs you incur to locate missing wealth.
Contempt of court
Judges also appreciate when divorcing couples follow the rules. If your spouse is less than forthcoming on his or her financial disclosures, a judge is may find him or her to be in contempt of court. Depending on the temperament of the judge, being in contempt of court may land your spouse in handcuffs.
While it may be possible to hide assets without breaking any law, deceptive spouses often commit fraud, perjury or other crimes. If your spouse breaks the law, a state or federal prosecutor may file criminal charges against him or her.
Ultimately, if the consequences of hiding assets are not enough to dissuade your spouse from being unscrupulous, you may need to take additional steps to ensure you receive your fair share.