When you are going through a divorce, it’s understandable to be worried about how you will fare in the property division process. However, it’s important you don’t make any rash decisions — attempting to conceal your assets could land you in legal trouble and result in you getting a worse property division arrangement than you otherwise would have. In short, the risk is definitely not worth it.
In every divorce, there is a legal process referred to as “discovery,” in which spouses and their legal teams gather information from each other and various third parties, such as employers, banks, companies and the administrators of retirement plans. During the discovery process, you and these third parties are required to give your spouse (or his or her attorney) any relevant financial information that could impact the proceedings.
Additionally, you will be required to sign a deposition, which means you are swearing under oath as to the accuracy of the information you’ve provided regarding the property you own. If you sign a deposition and know the information you provided is false, you have committed perjury). If your former spouse or the courts discover you have lied, you could face some significant penalties, including major fines and jail time.
Finally, if you refuse to share the locations of your assets or the amount of money and property you have even after the court orders you to do so, you may be held in contempt of court and sent to jail.
Basically, the best route to take when it comes to the asset division and discovery processes is to be honest and compliant. You don’t want to make things any harder on yourself. To learn more about your best steps moving forward, speak with a dedicated Jacksonville family law attorney.
Attorney Andrea Jevic contributed to this blog post.