Divorce can be a turbulent experience; one that can trigger people to act in ways that might be totally out of character. There are situations that you cannot help during the divorce process. However, some behaviors can set you up for serious legal troubles. One such behavior is hiding assets while going through the divorce process.
Michigan is an equitable distribution state. This means that the court gets to decide what is equitable or fair rather than splitting the marital property on a 50-50 basis. That being said, it is not unusual for one or both parties in the divorce proceeding to attempt to hide assets with the goal of circumventing the state’s marital property division law.
What amounts to asset hiding?
During a Michigan divorce process, the court requires the divorcing couple to document all assets so that the judge can determine if they qualify as marital property or not. Failure to declare any asset, either deliberately or by mistake, amounts to hiding. And this can land you in serious trouble.
What are the potential consequences of hiding assets?
The consequences of hiding marital assets during divorce can be very severe. First, this will cast serious questions on your character. When the court establishes that you were dishonest in declaring your marital assets, the court will likely favor the other party when ruling on asset distribution. That could leave you with less than you attempted to hide. Plus, you could face fraud or contempt charges for committing perjury while under oath. This can attract a variety of penalties.
Michigan law is pretty straightforward when it comes to property division – one party cannot attempt to hide marital assets to the detriment of the other. To ensure an equitable division of property, it is important that both parties disclose all their assets. The best way to protect your interests in a divorce is by being proactive in your approach to negotiations, instead.