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Withholding financial information during divorce discovery

by | Aug 9, 2023 | Family Law

As part of the divorce property division, courts require each spouse to disclose all financial information relevant to the case, including bank account details and estate properties. This process is called discovery. Unfortunately, some parties intentionally withhold information in an attempt to hide assets.

Signs of concealing finances and properties

Some divorce parties try to hide assets in hopes of the properties’ noninclusion during property division. When this happens, it can negatively affect the other spouse’s rights and interests. For this reason, it is essential to spot signs of asset concealment during discovery, which can include the following actions:

  • Discrepancy in financial records
  • Unusual bank transactions, such as foreign account transfers or cash withdrawals
  • Missing assets, especially personal properties like jewelry and cars
  • Abnormal business activities, such as unreported income or hidden business transactions

Sometimes, signs can also manifest in the lifestyle of the concealing party. This includes extravagant purchases or travel, the values of which do not correspond with the disclosed finances.

The consequences of hiding assets

A party not following the discovery rules can be subject to court penalties. If a divorce party fails to disclose information during discovery, the court can order them to provide all necessary information afterward. If they still refuse to do so, the court may hold them in contempt of court and order them to serve jail time and pay fines. Moreover, hiding assets can prompt the court to award the hidden assets to the other spouse.

Depending on the case, the consequences of hiding assets and failing to disclose financial information during discovery can be severe.

Maintain a watchful eye

Property division is a complex process, the results of which significantly affect each divorcing party’s rights. Thus, each party must disclose all assets during discovery to get their equal share of the marital properties.

If you suspect your ex is hiding assets from the court, you must act quickly and raise your concern to prompt an investigation.