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New York divorce: Hiding assets could backfire

Going through a divorce may be one of the hardest things any New York couple will ever go through. The emotional, financial and family trauma that often accompanies a divorce can be difficult to bear. Making it worse by hiding assets from your spouse will likely only cause further heartache.

A study done by the National Endowment for Financial Education indicates that approximately one-third of all people have lied to their spouse about some aspect of their finances. Some lied about the amount of money, some lied about a purchase and others kept a bill from their spouse. When it comes to divorce, some people have exaggerated their expenses and underreported their income and others have outright hidden assets.

Putting aside the moral implications of this type of subterfuge, it may also be illegal. When the court requires the parties in a divorce to file a financial statement, the parties are swearing to the court that the information they provide is accurate to the best of their knowledge. When it is discovered that someone intentionally lied on a financial affidavit, the consequences can range from simple fines to jail time.

It never pays to lie in court. If a divorce has to be litigated, most New York couples can be sure that both sides are making sure the other isn't hiding something by relying on an experienced team of divorce professionals. If it is discovered that one party is hiding assets, the court has the discretion to award whatever asset was hidden to the other party.

Source: Forbes, "What Are the Consequences Of Hiding Assets During Divorce?," Jeff Landers, Nov. 14, 2012