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Hiding assets? 3 reasons it could come back to haunt you

Complicated and emotionally draining, divorce can cause strain and conflict in your life. You invest time and money into a marriage that you expect to last. Then, suddenly you're thrown into a situation where you must decide the best path forward.

But even if you believe your spouse is trying to take you for everything you're worth, hiding assets won't work out in your favor.

You could get caught

Hiding your assets seems like a good plan until you get caught. When the court sees that you aren't trustworthy, everything you say or contest can come under fire. Are you alleging that your spouse was having an affair? Why would the court believe you if your spouse has proof that you hid your assets from the court? Of course, evidence overrides allegations, but being trustworthy also helps your case.

A forensic accountant could review your finances

Hiding assets also leads to further investigations. Once opposing counsel suspects you of hiding assets, he or she can ask the court to allow a forensic accountant to review all financial documents in the marriage.

Is that bad? It may not be, but it can help your spousediscover everything you hid. If caught, your behavior could hurt your reputation in court and give the judge a reason to give your spouse what he or she wants.

Penalties are harsh

Penalties for hiding assets range from getting a smaller share of your marital assets to going to jail. The court may find you in contempt or award all uncovered assets to your spouse.

Your attorney can help you detail your assets to avoid this frustration. Document all your marital assets and be prepared to negotiate for what you need.

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