When a couple gets divorced, both parties must take certain steps to divide their shared marital assets. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process, and sometimes one or both spouses begin to feel some degree of resentment. They may feel like they are losing the results of their hard-earned financial success or that their former partner is trying to take more than he or she deserves.
In these situations, it may be tempting for one of the spouses to consider hiding assets to keep the other from gaining access to them. It’s important to understanding that it’s highly illegal to engage in this practice, and anyone caught doing it can face both civil and criminal penalties in the state of Florida.
There are myriad ways that someone may go about attempting to hide assets. These include transferring property to friends or family, laundering cash through a business, failing to disclose the extent of one’s assets or physically hiding evidence of assets. Although some of these actions may not seem illegal or unethical, they are actually against the law.
If an individual is caught hiding assets in a divorce, the court reserves the right to impose a number of penalties. These may include paying the court costs and legal fees of the other spouse. Additionally, a judge may decide to void a prenuptial agreement — resulting in even greater costs. In certain situations, court officials may even hold a person in contempt of court.
Responsible attorneys will always advise their clients against trying to hide assets when going through a divorce. The best approach is to be open and honest, striving to reach a fair settlement with your former spouse. For more information on all issues related to divorce in Florida, speak with an experienced family law attorney at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.