Caring, Professional and Ethical

Photo of Mary Beth Mock

The impact of undisclosed assets in divorce agreements

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Divorce

The division of property is one of the tasks that must happen as part of a divorce settlement. Indiana divorce law requires that couples divide their assets fairly. Splitting assets can be complicated even when both partners cooperate. If a spouse is hiding assets, it can derail the whole process and have serious consequences.

The importance of honest disclosure

In the best-case scenario, both partners will fully declare their assets in their financial affidavits. Honest disclosure streamlines the proceedings, making it easier to determine a fair solution. Divorce is emotionally taxing and expensive without the added complication of dishonesty mixed into the process.

The consequences of hidden assets

It can be tempting for a spouse to hide assets in a divorce, especially if one partner has a significantly higher income than the other. Common tactics involve transferring money to a friend, family member or another third party. A private business owner might try to hide personal assets in business transactions and accounts.

The court does not look favorably on this type of behavior. Penalties for hiding assets include court fines and requiring the offending spouse to pay extra legal fees. The court can also award some or all of the value of any hidden assets to the other party.

Actions to take if you are suspicious

If you suspect your spouse is not honestly disclosing all their assets, you must bring your concerns to your legal representatives. Accounting for and dividing newly discovered assets is easier before the divorce becomes final. Your divorce attorney or certified divorce financial analyst can look for signs of hidden funds and hold your partner accountable.

Settling a complicated divorce is never easy. Both parties want to walk away with the best possible result. When spouses are open and honest throughout the process, it will minimize the stress and allow for a fair resolution.