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What happens if your ex tries to hide property in your divorce?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2022 | Asset Division

Although there is a lot of bad information shared about divorce, there is one thing that people say that is absolutely true. You cannot judge what your spouse will do in a divorce based on how they behaved in your marriage.

Even someone who treated you with respect while living as your spouse could become manipulative or deceptive during a divorce. Those in high-income and high-asset marriages are particularly susceptible to bad behaviors in divorce. After all, they have more property and future income at risk during Florida family law proceedings.

Especially if you are not intimately familiar with your household finances, you could lose out on property that you should share if your ex tries to hide assets.

If they are successful

The reason your spouse wants to hide a bank account or physical property from you is so that you cannot claim the value of those assets in your divorce proceedings. Florida law mandates that the courts equitably or justly divide your property based on family circumstances.

However, the courts cannot be fair to you when they don’t have a full accounting of your household assets and income. If your ex successfully hides property, you will receive less than your fair share of the marital estate. In other words, they will feel like they won in the divorce because they deprived you of possibly thousands of dollars of assets that you had a claim to under Florida state law.

If you discover their misconduct

Thankfully, hidden assets are a well-known issue in modern divorces, and there are ways to protect yourself from the financial misconduct of your ex. Partnering with an attorney familiar with complex divorce cases and possibly even bringing in a forensic accountant can help you track down hidden assets and provide evidence to the courts of your ex’s attempts to hide them.

Family law judges frequently penalize those who hide property intentionally or misrepresent their assets when providing information to the courts. A judge may award you to take more of the marital estate than they otherwise would if you have proof that your spouse intentionally tried to hide property before your divorce proceedings.

Understanding what is at risk in the property division process in a high-asset Florida divorce will help you better protect yourself.