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Are there penalties for hiding assets during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2022 | Divorce & Separation |

If you are going through a divorce, you undoubtedly want to have as many financial resources as possible to begin the next chapter of your life. Still, according to Minnesota law, you may only receive an equitable share of everything you and your current spouse own.

The Gopher State’s approach to dividing marital property means you should end up with a fair percentage, even if you do not receive exactly half of your marital wealth. To try to get more, it may be tempting to hide marital assets. Doing so, though, may subject you to some serious penalties.

Contempt of court

In the lead-up to your divorce, both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse must make certain financial disclosures to each other and to the court. If you violate court rules, a judge may hold you in contempt of court. This may land you in jail until you are forthcoming.

Criminal charges

Depending on how you decide to conceal marital assets, you theoretically may be vulnerable to criminal charges. That is, if you commit fraud, perjury or any other criminal offense, prosecutors may file criminal charges against you.

Loss of assets

Judges do not look favorably upon those who try to cheat the system. Therefore, if the court learns about your actions, you are at risk of losing the assets you were trying to hide. This may leave you with considerably less of your marital estate than you deserve.

Ultimately, because of the extreme risks that come with hiding assets during divorce proceedings, it is advisable to be as honest as possible.