There is a Penalty for Hiding Assets in a Divorce

Spouses divorce for many different reasons, but often it is from a lack of trust; one spouse felt betrayed for one reason or another. Emotions are already high during such a difficult time in your life, and even though it seems like the perfect time to be selfish, you might find yourself in even bigger trouble if you decide to try hiding assets from your spouse, or the court, in a divorce.

Hidden Assets During a Divorce

Preparation is key to knowing if your spouse is hiding assets. If you and your spouse have been talking about divorce recently, it is in your best interest to start gathering the financial information you will soon need. Take advantage of the time you have and gather the proper documentation to ensure assets are not being hidden from you. Making copies of items such as tax documents and bank statements can only be in your favor and will be of great help to your lawyer.

Some examples of ways people hide assets are:

  • Denying the asset exists at all
  • Transferring the asset to another person, excluding the spouse
  • Labeling assets as business expenses, even though they are not
  • Having separate bank accounts that you were unaware of during the marriage

Equitable Distribution in North Carolina

North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. The presumption is that an equal split of the marital estate is equitable; however, there may be factors in your divorce that allow one spouse to receive an unequal distribution of property. If one spouse has a debilitating health condition, then he or she may be entitled to more than 50/50. If one spouse has a large inheritance, then the other spouse may be entitled to more than 50/50. Talk to an attorney today to see if you could be entitled to an unequal distribution.

If you believe your spouse may be hiding assets from you, then it is best to talk with your lawyer. As part of an equitable distribution matter, your lawyer has the right to request documents showing tax information, receipts, bank accounts, and invoices from your spouse. Your attorney may also want to depose your spouse or send request for admissions and interrogatories. Your spouse will have to answer these discovery requests under oath and will be subject to perjury for answering falsely.

My Divorce is Final: Am I Too Late?

If you discover hidden assets after your divorce is finalized, there are a few mechanisms to try and recover your share of those assets. If you have a court order, then you will need to file a motion requesting relief from your equitable distribution order. If you have a separation agreement, then you may have to file a lawsuit against your spouse and request appropriate relief from the court. Call our office today, so that our attorneys can help you determine your rights.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today

If you think your spouse is hiding assets, or you have proof that this is the case, contact the attorneys at Robison Smith Law today. We will ensure you are treated fairly and that you are aware of your rights.


If you are ready to move forward, please contact us now.

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