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What Happens When a Former Spouse Attempts to Hide Assets During a Divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2019 | Community Property Division

What happens when a former spouse attempts to hide assets during a divorce in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside or anywhere in Carlsbad?  One of the first steps the parties take in a divorce is to submit disclosures which identify all debts and assets.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • The family home and other real estate
  • Bank and investment accounts
  • Business ownership interests
  • Retirement accounts
  • Credit cards, installment loans and personal loans

If the information provided by either party is found to be incomplete, untrue or an attempt to hide assets it can result in perjury charges or being held in contempt of court.

California is a “community property” state which essentially considers the two spouses to be a single entity or “community” throughout the course of their marriage.  Community assets and debts are to be divided equally during a divorce.  Under community property law, almost all income as well as all property and assets acquired during the marriage belong to both parties equally.

When a former spouse attempts to hide assets during a divorce they will be met with harsh judgment and financial penalties.  It is the same as theft, and will carry significant consequences.  Some parties attempt to conceal or undervalue their income or report a value for an asset which is much lower than it is actually worth.  For example, some professional practices attempt to artificially assign a value to a partner’s share.  The partnership agreement may state the value is $35,000 while the actual value of the partner’s interest in the practice is several hundred thousand dollars or more.

Hiding or attempting to devalue an asset during a divorce is a fraudulent act which can result in harsh financial and other penalties.  If you are concerned about a former spouse’s declarations or believe there may be hidden money or assets we invite you to contact the experienced family law Certified Specialists at Burke & Domercq or call 760-389-3927 to speak with us personally or schedule an appointment.  Ask about our firm’s forensic accounting and other strategies to root out hidden or falsely valued assets while protecting your interests.