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Never Attempt to Conceal Assets in a Divorce

If you are considering divorce, you are likely to be concerned about how your assets will be divided. This is understandable, especially if you have reason to believe your divorce will be particularly contentious. However, it’s important to remember that attempting to hide assets to protect your ownership of them is never a good idea, and could actually get you into a worse situation than you would have been had you been transparent.

Every state has a legal process during a divorce called “discovery,” in which each spouse gathers information from the other and various third parties about the assets they own. These third parties may include employers, banks, companies and retirement plan administrators.

During the discovery process, you are required to disclose all relevant financial information to your spouse and his/her attorney. You will most likely need to testify under oath about the assets you own. If you lie during this deposition, you may be found guilty of perjury, a serious state and/or federal offense. If your spouse, a judge or spouse’s attorney uncovers these mistruths later, you could face penalties like fines or jail time. You are also likely to lose a significant amount of leverage in your divorce case in terms of the division of your marital property.

Complying with court orders

Additionally, courts may order you to report your assets or provide certain financial information to your former spouse if you fail to do so. If you choose to ignore the court’s orders, you could be held in contempt of court and sent to jail for up to a period of six (6) months.

Thus, while the prospect of having to part with some of your property might not be something you are looking forward to, it’s better to abide by the rules than to risk significant penalties. For further guidance you work through your divorce, contact the knowledgeable Long Island family law attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.

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