Not Worth the Risk
Some people going through a divorce may hide assets in order to prevent the other spouse from receiving their fair share of the property. While the rewards may seem great for those who attempt it, getting caught hiding assets can have serious consequences. Here is what you should keep in mind.
What Are Hidden Assets?
The act of hiding assets occurs when one spouse intentionally seeks ways through deceptive means to prevent the court from knowing about an asset. This act could take many forms, such as transferring money from a joint account to a separate account without a spouse’s knowledge or consent or “gifting” money to a friend or family member only for that money to be “gifted” back after the divorce is complete.
While this act can take place in any divorce, it is more common to find hiding assets take place in a high net worth divorce or one involving complex assets.
What Are The Penalties If Discovered?
The Texas family code defines hidden assets as “fraud on the community.” If you or your spouse are discovered to have committed fraud on the community, then the penalties could range beyond a simple fine.
If discovered, the court first recalculates the total value of all assets, including the ones that were previously hidden. Upon completion, the assets will be divided based on Texas community property law.
Texas law, however, allows a judge to impose penalties on the person found guilty of hiding assets. The court could order a money judgment in favor of the spouse that did not hide assets on top of all previously assigned assets during property division. That spouse could also receive a larger share of assets during division. The spouse guilty of hiding assets could then be given criminal penalties based on Texas law.
Seek a Texas Divorce Attorney If You Suspect Hidden Assets
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets from you, seek the help of a Texas divorce attorney right away to help you protect your right to your property. Law Offices Of Mark M. Childress is committed to helping you protect what is yours and to helping you obtain the best possible outcome.
To schedule a consultation with one of our Texas family law attorneys, call our office at (817) 497-8148 or visit us online.