Chvatal CK King | Family Law Attorneys
Chvatal CK King | Family Law Attorneys
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Our attorneys have devoted their careers to achieving excellence in the area of family law.

Why do spouses hide assets during divorce?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Property Division

It is not uncommon for spouses to conceal assets during a divorce. This could take the form of hiding cash, underreporting income, transferring assets to third parties or failing to disclose property or investments.

Spouses hide assets for various reasons, often driven by a mix of financial self-interests and emotional motives. The most straightforward reason is financial gain. A spouse may conceal assets from the divorce process to retain a larger share of the marital estate than they are legally entitled to.

Hiding assets during divorce could also stem from a desire to have power and control over the other spouse by limiting their financial independence. This is more common in situations with a significant power imbalance, like when one spouse controls the family purse or is the breadwinner.

Other reasons for concealing assets include revenge, punishment or uncertainty about the future post-divorce.

Understand your legal rights

Under Washington’s marital property laws, you are entitled to half the assets you acquired as a couple during the marriage. Therefore, you may get less than you deserve if your spouse is financially dishonest during divorce proceedings.

Hiding assets in a divorce is also illegal; your spouse could face legal penalties for contempt of court and fines. The court may also adjust the asset division in your favor to compensate for the dishonesty.

Safeguard your financial interests

Identifying and uncovering hidden assets can sometimes be challenging, especially if they are hidden behind complex financial transactions. Additionally, time is not on your side. You could run out of options for recovering your rightful share of the marital estate if you do not take swift action.

Seeking legal guidance can help protect your rights and navigate such complexities toward a fair divorce settlement.