The purpose of dividing assets in the divorce process, is to treat both spouses fairly, considering their individual needs and contributions to the family. Some parties decide to be dishonest, by actually hiding assets, storing personal property elsewhere, transferring money into a secret bank account, understating income, undervaluing assets or overstating debts and expenses in the financial disclosure etc.
Ethics & Legals
Not only is this conduct unethical, it is also illegal! When signing your financial affidavit, you declare that everything contained therein is completely accurate. Lying on an affidavit is perjury. Perjury is the intentional act of swearing a false oath or of falsifying an affirmation, to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding. If caught, you will be held in contempt of court and probably ordered to pay damages as well as face imprisonment.
If you suspect that your spouse is guilty of withholding information or hiding assets, consult with your attorney on the appropriate course of action.
Apart from the legal implications of a court order being made based on non-disclosure, consider the financial cost as well. The average couple who does not have unlimited financial resources to fund litigation in the event of failure to provide full and frank disclosure might end up with huge expenses which are ultimately paid out of the joint assets.
Furthermore, attempting and succeeding to be untruthful will obviously engender resentment and anger, which will have an adverse effect on the whole family and destroy any chance of a positive co-parenting relationship after the separation.
The benefits of dealing with matters in an open and honest way, ensures a fair outcome and the ability for both parties, including children, to move forward better off emotionally and financially.
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