What happens if you lie about your assets in a divorce?

Your divorce isn’t your doing — and you feel hurt and betrayed by your spouse. Now, you have to go through the complex process of listing off all your assets and watching the court divide them up. It seems unfair. 

So what happens if you lie about your holdings? 

You were always the “saver” in your marriage — the one that took charge of the finances and looked ahead — so you know your spouse isn’t even aware of everything you own. It might be easy to get away with “forgetting” to list a few of your more obscure assets in your disclosure papers.

Intentional omissions can get you into big trouble

When you file your financial disclosure papers, you do so under oath. While the court might overlook a minor mistake — if you correct it as soon as you realize what you did — any big omission could result in serious penalties.

What could happen? Consider these two results:

  1. You could end up losing everything you didn’t disclose. Connecticut is an equitable distribution state, so the court can divide things up however it deems “fair” to the couple involved. A judge may just decide that it’s fair to give your spouse whatever you attempted to hide.
  2. You could end up with a felony criminal record. A judge could hold you in contempt of court for your actions — which is likely to result in fines and other penalties. Worse still, the court could also charge you with perjury. In Connecticut, that’s a Class D felony.

It’s not hard to understand why you’re upset with the situation you’re in, but you don’t want to make your situation worse by responding inappropriately. Instead, work on an effective divorce strategy that will help you keep more of what you own when your property is divided.