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What happens if your spouse hides assets before your divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2021 | Family Law

If you are contemplating ending your marriage, you may have some concerns about your post-divorce finances. Fortunately, Minnesota law typically entitles divorcing spouses to an equitable share of the marital estate. While you may not end up with exactly half of everything you and your soon-to-be spouse own, you are likely to have enough to begin anew.

During your divorce, you and your spouse must disclose marital assets. If you let your husband or wife handle money matters, it may be easy for him or her to deceive you financially. Regrettably, hiding assets in the lead-up to a divorce may have consequences for both you and your spouse.

Consequences to you

If your spouse makes sham loans, dissipates the marital estate or otherwise hides wealth from you, you are at risk of missing out on your fair share. You may also receive less in spousal support. Consequently, if you suspect your husband or wife is hiding assets, you may want to work with a forensic auditor or another financial professional to find them. You may also locate missing assets during the pre-trial discovery process.

Consequences to your spouse

While it may seem to give him or her an unfair advantage, hiding assets may be catastrophic for your spouse. Judges in the Gopher State do not usually look kindly on deceptive behavior. Accordingly, a judge may hold your spouse in contempt of court. If your husband or wife breaks the law when trying to deceive you, prosecutors may even charge him or her with fraud or another criminal offense.

Even if your marriage is not ending on particularly bad terms, you must be sure you advocate for your property interests. Scrutinizing your spouse’s behavior may help you and your husband or wife avoid the consequences that often come with hiding assets.