Penalties For Hiding Assets In A Divorce
One of the biggest issues in many Tennessee divorce cases is the distribution of marital property between spouses. In some cases, a spouse may attempt to hide assets in order to walk away from the marriage with more than they are entitled to. However, spouses caught hiding assets can face serious consequences, both civilly and criminally, from the court. At Fort, Holloway & Rogers, our experienced Williamson County divorce lawyers are here to ensure that you get the property that you deserve in your divorce and hold your spouse accountable if they try to hide assets from you. To learn more, talk to our office today to schedule a consultation.
How Spouses Hide Assets
There are many ways that a spouse may try to hide assets in a divorce. One common method is to “gift” assets to family members or friends with the intent of getting the assets back once the divorce is finalized. Another method is to open back accounts or establish trusts with family members or friends named as the account holder or beneficiaries in order to place assets in their name to hide them. If the spouse owns a business, they may also try to hide assets in the company. A spouse may attempt to undervalue their business in order to split less assets with their spouse, put off securing a big deal or client until the divorce is finalized, or find other ways to hide money in the business until the divorce is complete.
Penalties for Hiding Assets
A spouse that is caught hiding assets may be found civilly and criminally liable under Tennessee law. If a spouse is found hiding assets during or after a divorce, the court may adjust the property distribution between spouses. Tennessee is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property must be divided equitably, but not necessarily equally, between spouses. As such, the judge may determine that a more equitable solution is to award the spouse that did not hide funds a greater share of the marital assets. They may also award that spouse attorneys’ fees to cover the additional costs of going to court for the hidden assets.
If the spouse lied under oath regarding the extent of their assets or where assets were located, they may also be found in contempt of court. This could result in significant fines or even jail time. Depending on the extent of the misinformation provided in the case, a spouse hiding assets may also be charged with perjury or white collar crimes. These are criminal offenses that could result in a prison sentence, fines, and a permanent criminal record. To learn more, talk to our office today.
Talk to Our Office Today
Are you concerned that your spouse might be hiding assets in your divorce case? If so, the experienced and knowledgeable Franklin divorce attorneys at Fort, Holloway & Rogers are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case now.