I recently spoke at a Divorce 101 meeting for men. A prominent San Diego attorney was also there presenting about the legal side of divorce and had this warning to the attendees: DO NOT HIDE ASSETS. DISCLOSE EVERYTHING.
She went on to tell a story about a client she had whose husband failed to disclose a significant investment account as part of their financial disclosure process.
Thankfully the wife hired a financial expert who found interest income from an unknown account on the tax return.
When the attorney litigated the issue, the judge awarded her client 100% of the account as punishment for the husband’s failure to disclose the account as part of the disclosure process. 100%!
When you hide assets in divorce, you are in contempt of court and there may be financial penalties for those charges. During divorce, you are legally required to disclose ALL of your assets. Even if you and your spouse have agreed that they will remain separate. Even if it is your inheritance and you know it is separate. Even if there is a $0 balance in the account, but it is still open. Disclose everything and figure out the division later.
Remember, the best way to have an efficient and less costly divorce is to cooperate fully and be as transparent about your finances as possible.
If you need help understanding your finances or do not trust your spouse’s disclosures, hire a CDFA today who can help try to mitigate your concerns.