Divorcing couples in Massachusetts already have a lot on your plate. The higher your joint assets are, the more complex your divorce is. Some people may get the idea that higher assets means things are easier to hide. In other words, they use it as an opportunity to lie about the assets they have.
We have discussed asset hiding as a potential problem people with high assets may face. Today, we will look at what attempting to hide these assets may cost you.
Consequences for hiding assets
Forbes looks at the consequences you may face for hiding assets. People try to hide assets for many reasons. It is more common than you think, too. Up to one third of spouses involved in divorce attempt to hide some assets. But the consequences for these actions are often harsher than the individual knows.
When you divorce, you sign a financial affidavit. By signing this, you are saying that you have told the truth in your financial report. There is leeway, of course. If you make a genuine mistake in calculations, you will not face penalty. But what if you lie on purpose? What if you intend to obscure your true assets so you do not have to give as much away?
What is contempt of court?
If you have lied on a financial affidavit, it is in contempt of court. You committed a violation of civil law. In essence, you committed perjury. The penalty for perjury varies depending on where you are and what court you go to. Some judges may charge you with criminal offenses. This could end with jail time. Others find creative ways to give assets to the ex-spouse you tried to avoid paying. In either case, it is not worth trying to hide these assets in the first place.