In most cases, divorce settlements are sorted out by agreement between the two partners and both spouses are happy to disclose their finances, incomes, and debts – openly and honestly. This is necessary, given it’s the only way where the two persons can know that there is shared and how can even split of money and property can be made.
It’s legally required for all divorcing couples to openly and honestly disclose all of their personal assets. The law also requires the couple to declare their income, expenses, and debts too. Unfortunately, though, it appears that some people just can’t resist the temptation to lie or cheat to at least try to keep a section of those assets entirely for themselves.
Most women would be surprised to know that it’s very common for husbands to hide away a portion of their assets from their wives. A wide range of murky tricks is used by these men to do it. Some overstate debts, report lower actual incomes and higher actual expenses. Some men also understate, overvalue or hide certain marital property.
Basically, this is done so that a husband can hope to keep more marital assets for himself while depriving his wife in getting a fair settlement she’s entitled to. This strategy is not only completely illegal; it’s downright deplorable, misguided and unethical. Besides, estranged husbands have been engaged in these shady practices for a long time. According to the National Endowment for Financial Education(NEFE) report, one-third (that’s 31 percent) of US adults, who combined their assets with partners claim they have been discreet about their money, and women (65 percent ) are more likely than men (47 percent) to report their spouses have lied to them about finances, debts, and annual incomes.
The NEFE study also found that around 3 in 5 of those surveyed (58 percent) said they had hidden cash from their partner or spouse. 30 percent have hidden a bill or a statement from their partners. Meanwhile, over more than half (54 percent) didn’t disclose a minor purchase, while 34 percent confessed they falsified information about their incomes, finances, and debts. But, do keep in mind, if you lied during a divorce hearing, it’s illegal.
Courts Civil Procedure Rules Require Full Disclosure
As per the rules of civil procedures, when someone signs a court document he/she agrees that the contents of the document are true and accurate to the best of his/her knowledge and belief. It means two things:
One, If a husband signs the Financial Affidavit, a document necessary in every contested and uncontested ( in some cases) divorces, he is under oath and telling the truth about his finances, annual income, assets, liabilities, and assets.
Two, It’s of utmost importance to have a qualified divorce lawyer handling your case. Their professional support and expertise are vital for you to remain on the favorable side of the law. This applies even as you work to keep your finances under your control and secure your financial future.
So the question remains, What can happen if he lies?
Consequences of Falsifying Information
Bringing in an allegation of fraud is a serious matter. If someone has been accused of lying under oath, then he/she can face very harsh consequences. Usually, penalties vary from case to case and from state to state, but generally, the law vests the courts with a medley of various amendments for obvious contempt of court. For instance, if a husband deliberately violates the asset disclosure laws, a judge could rule to pay for his wife’s attorney fees or fines or both. The husband can also have his claims dismissed and in some dire circumstances, incarceration.
The same rules also apply to the wife too. If the woman has made a false accusation, then her case will be dismissed, she would have pay all the legal expenses, and any incurring damages and losses caused to her husband as well.
Here is a real court case to ponder just to prove to the point. In 1999, a judge at a family court was Los Angeles; California ruled that a woman has been in direct violation of the state asset disclosure laws because she didn’t reveal she has been awarded $1.3 million in the California state lottery, which was just 11 days prior she filed for divorce. According to the Los Angeles Times, when the judge discovered the wife’s fraudulence act, he awarded all the lottery winnings to her ex-husband. As per California’s community property state laws, had she disclosed all the information, her husband would have got only half of the $1.3 million dollars, but instead went home with the whole lot.