Hi there and welcome back. We’re glad you could join us for the wrap up of this discussion about what to do if your spouse is hiding assets, and why it’s such a bad idea in the first place! As we mentioned before, hiding assets, or setting some of your money aside so you don’t have to split it up during a divorce can get you into a lot of trouble here in Michigan. Marital assets can’t be secreted away by one spouse, and refusing to declare all your assets during the discovery phase of a divorce is actually illegal! Curious about what that means? Let’s break it down.
Once the discovery process is done, and everything is out in the open…
Yours and your spouse’s attorneys work together to create an equitable divide of your marital assets. If the divorce case goes to trial because the couple isn’t able to come to an agreement, a family court judge will make the final determination. But if you lie about your assets, or try to cover up assets during the discovery process (regardless of how justified you may feel in doing so) you may find yourself losing more than you would have if you’d just been honest to begin with. As in, the judge might decide to award most, or even all of the assets to the spouse who had assets hidden from them!
Michigan law is clear about being open and honest during the process!
Under Michigan law, one party cannot hide assets to the detriment of another during divorce proceedings. This means, it’s against the law to hide any assets during a divorce. The court cannot make an equitable property division without a complete picture of each couple’s finances. So hiding assets during a divorce process is very likely to get you sanctioned by the judge. (Remember what we just said? That sanctions could include awarding the hidden asset entirely to the other spouse? That was no joke!) In addition, even after your divorce case is done, in the case of fraud, the case can sometimes be reopened. So if you find out that your ex hid things during the divorce process – it’s not too late to address that, even after the divorce is final!
And that’s not all – there could be other penalties for them as well.
Additionally, a person who refuses to respond to legal inquiries during the discovery process in a truthful and timely manner may be held in contempt of court, and could be subject to penalties and attorney fees. In other words – if they catch someone lying or hiding assets, they might even end up behind bars! Discovery responses are given under oath. That means that all the information that your spouse provides to you or your attorney must be truthful and complete. If they lie, they could be subject to perjury prosecution. So if you think your spouse might be stashing a little cash on the side, it might be a good idea to remind them of the possible consequences.
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to dividing assets in Michigan
If your spouse has a history of being sneaky about money, or has implied that they don’t think you deserve to get a fair share of the marital assets, you need to tell your attorney. A good divorce attorney has many ways of discovering hidden assets through forensic accounting and other investigative methods. Which is why it’s so important to have the right attorney on your team. Call The Kronzek Firm today at 866 766 5245 and one of our skilled family law attorneys can help ensure that you get what you have a legal right to, and make sure you’re prepared for your new future. We’re available round the clock for emergencies.