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What Happens if Your Spouse Hides Assets During a Divorce?

Both parties must be honest about their finances during a divorce; if your spouse is hiding marital assets, your lawyer will find the assets and the court will award you a share of them.

Money and dishonesty are two of the biggest issues that lead couples to divorce; it is doubly painful when you find out that your spouse has been lying to you about money. No matter the extent of the financial infidelity, it all comes out in the wash once a couple files for divorce. Legal battles over money and other valuable items of property can get especially ugly in Texas since Texas is one of only a few community property states, which means that the court automatically divides the couple’s marital property evenly in half. In practice, not every divorced couple ends up with the same property division scheme, since prenuptial agreements, alimony, and possession of the marital home are complicating factors in some cases. Some people try to hide assets from their spouses so that they will not have to share these assets with their spouses during the marriage or in a divorce. If you think your spouse is not being truthful about his or her marital or separate property, contact a Fort Worth property division lawyer.

Financial Disclosures During Divorce

Even in the simplest divorce cases, the court will not legally dissolve the marriage until after both parties have submitted financial disclosures. These documents must include a complete and detailed listing of the couple’s marital assets, as well as of each party’s separate assets, income, and expenses. Unless defined otherwise in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, marital property is all income earned and property purchased during the marriage, regardless of which spouse earned the money or used the purchased items. For example, a painting purchased during the marriage is marital property, even if it has always been displayed in the dance studio space that the wife rents and where she teaches dance lessons, and never in the marital home. Property inherited in the marriage or received through personal injury or workers’ compensation settlements during the marriage is usually separate property.

Hiding Assets in a Divorce Case Always Backfires

Sometimes people try to hide assets by titling them in the name of a family member or a business with which the true owner is connected. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, your lawyer will do everything possible to find those assets, including petitioning the court to order the relevant parties to present documentation about the assets. If the court determines that the hidden assets are marital property, the court will award half their value to you in a divorce. If they are separate property, you are not entitled to the assets, but their existence and value could affect the court’s decisions about alimony and child support. If you signed a prenuptial agreement and your spouse owned the assets at the time but did not disclose them, it could render the agreement invalid.

Contact the Fort Worth Law Office of Kyle Whitaker About the Division of Property in Your Divorce Case

Hiring a family law attorney can make it much easier to find the property and money that your spouse has been hiding from you throughout your marriage. Contact the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker in Fort Worth, Texas to discuss your case.