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What happens if your spouse tries to hide assets?

As a couple going through divorce in New Jersey, you likely have more than a few concerns. The process is often a difficult and winding one, especially if you have high assets. You will likely run into problems that couples without high assets can avoid. 

For example, higher asset divorces also see a higher rate of attempts at hiding assets. This can happen for many reasons, but the end result is the same: a hefty penalty when caught. 

Financial affidavits and divorce

Forbes discusses potential consequences for hiding assets during divorce. They start off by mentioning the financial affidavit you almost certainly signed at the start of the divorce. This affidavit is mandatory for all contested divorces. They even make an appearance in some uncontested divorces. 

This financial affidavit tells the court that you are telling the truth about your finances to the best of your knowledge. In other words, genuine mistakes will not count against you. Intentional attempts to hide or lie about your assets can get you in serious trouble. 

Hiding assets as perjury

When you lie about assets, you break the affidavit. This is an act of perjury and the court can hold you in contempt. In New Jersey, perjury is a third degree crime. You could face between 3 to 5 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. 

On top of that, the judge presiding over your trial can choose to add more penalties. For example, it is not uncommon for a judge to order the spouse hiding assets to cover legal expenses for their ex. In general, attempting to hide assets simply does not pay off. 

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