When you file for divorce, one of the most important aspects is preparing a list of all the assets. Your New York divorce attorney will have to file it with the judge assigned to your case. Many people are tempted to conceal assets. This can include overseas bank accounts, expensive art and jewelry, and even properties. No matter how clever a spouse may think their plan to conceal assets will be, attorneys are experienced in uncovering hidden assets.


Hiding assets in a divorce can harm your case and result in legal penalties. Instead of risking serious consequences, protect your financial interests the right way by contacting the Douglas Family Law Group.




Loss of Credibility

Once you are found to have hidden assets, the judge will begin to doubt everything you have said during the divorce hearings. This immediate loss of credibility can also be applied to your lawyer’s arguments when it comes to business valuations or the proposed splitting of assets.


As a result, any kind of agreements made between you and your spouse’s attorneys regarding the proposed division of assets may not be taken into consideration. The judge will use their own view, which will be heavily influenced by your dishonesty.




Unequal Distribution of Assets

The judge may decide to punish you for trying to hide assets by awarding more assets to your spouse than would have been equitable. Therefore, it is not unlikely that you will wind up with less marital property as a result of your attempt to gain more assets through concealing and undervaluing them.


It will be difficult for your legal counsel to change the judge’s mind because the judge will likely view you and your team as dishonest and without credibility.




Being Charged With Contempt of Court

Contempt of court is a very serious offense. It means committing one of the following:


  • Misbehavior in court that causes an obstruction in the administration of justice
  • Disobeying or resisting any lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command.

Hiding assets qualifies as resisting the lawful decree to disclose all properties you own and can carry severe penalties:


  • Fine of up to $1,000.00
  • Up to 30 days in prison




Being Charged With Perjury

Perjury is yet another serious criminal charge the judge can give against you. The four elements of perjury are:


  • You took an oath to give a truthful testimony
  • You willfully made a false statement
  • You believed that the statement was false
  • The statement refers to a material fact.

A New York divorce lawyer knows that being charged with Perjury carries significant penalties. A third degree perjury is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000.00 fine. A second-degree perjury is a Class E felony and is punishable by up to four years in state prison and fines. A first-degree perjury is a Class D felony and is punishable by up to seven years in prison.


The classification of the offense is usually influenced by the quantity and value of assets were being hidden.




Being Charged with Fraud

A fraud charge, just like the other two charges specified above, can have significant negative impact on your finances, career, and personal life. For an initial offense, the classification of the charge is a misdemeanor, punishably by up to a year in jail.




Having to Pay All Legal Fees Related to the Divorce

Part of the punishment imposed by the judge for concealing assets can include ordering you to pay all legal fees. This means that you will also have to pay for your spouse’s lawyer fees. You may additionally may be ordered to pay restitution to your spouse.




Your Spouse May Receive Higher Spousal Support Payments

An attempt to hide assets may also result in higher spousal support payments. This means that the decision to undervalue or conceal assets can result of a punishment that spans years to come.


In combination with the aforementioned penalties, it is evident that hiding assets is never worth the consequences. It is important that you find a strong and ethical attorney who will make sure that your arguments remain effective and honest.




Call our New York Divorce Attorneys Today

The right way to protect your asset is talking an accomplished and proven attorney. Fortunately, our team at Douglas Family Law Group is ready to help you navigate your divorce proceedings. Our team specializes in complex and high-stakes matters, meaning we know the implications of concealing assets and are experts at making ethical, honest, and effective settlement strategies.


Contact us today at 914.615.9058 to schedule your initial consultation!

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