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Don’t be tempted to hide money in a high-asset divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2022 | Divorce |

In a high-asset divorce, where one or both parties have a large amount of money and assets, it’s crucial to be honest about your situation. Staying silent or hiding assets could lead to serious consequences such as criminal charges, significant fines, and even jail time. Find out what you should never do when going through a high-asset divorce.

How do courts approach hidden assets?

In Illinois, the law requires spouses to list all their assets and liabilities when they file for divorce. When one spouse hides assets or fails to disclose them, the court can award the other spouse a larger share of marital property and additional money damages. This is called equitable distribution. Equitable distribution can also include any lost income because of some unjust enrichment on the part of one spouse’s failure to fully disclose their assets. 

Why is disclosure so important?

The court may enter an order for full and fair disclosure. The court may also enter an order requiring that you produce copies of all tax returns and financial statements, without limitation, from all bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement funds and any other source of income.

What are the consequences of hiding your money?

Hiding assets during a high-asset divorce is never an option. Hiding money may seem like the best way to protect your assets, but there are some serious consequences. First, it can make it hard for the court to divide them accurately. Second, it can make it more difficult for spouses to manage their finances and take care of the children after the divorce.

Will the judge punish me for lying or failing to disclose information under oath?

There is a chance that the judge will hold you accountable if you lie under oath or fail to disclose information that is material to the proceedings. This can result in you being sanctioned by the court, which can mean fines, criminal charges, and jail time. You can even face criminal charges for lying under oath.