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Can hiding assets during a divorce be a crime?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2022 | Divorce, Property Division

Even if you do not earn the same income, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse both contributed to your marriage. Now that you are heading for a divorce, you deserve to receive a fair share of your marital estate. Fortunately, according to the Texas State Law Library, spouses in the Lone Star State usually jointly own the assets and debts they acquire during their marriages.

To divide your marital wealth under Texas’s community property rules, you, your spouse and the court must know about everything you own and owe. Therefore, you and your spouse should expect to complete certain financial disclosures. As you may suspect, being deceptive about marital wealth is a serious matter.

Hiding assets can be a crime

While it may be possible to hide assets without violating any law, your spouse also may commit perjury, fraud or another criminal offense. If so, prosecutors may consider filing criminal charges. If so, your spouse may face criminal charges that could result in jail time, fines or both.

Hiding assets can be contemptuous of court

During your divorce, the court is likely to issue a variety of orders. If your spouse disregards these orders when trying to hide assets, a judge may hold him or her in contempt of court. While usually not as serious as criminal charges, contempt of court can lead to jail time and fines.

Even if your spouse manages to skirt criminal liability for hiding assets, he or she may lose the value of any uncovered assets. Ultimately, rather than risking the potentially catastrophic fallout from hiding assets, it is substantially wiser for you and your spouse to be forthcoming about all marital wealth.


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