Hiding assets during divorce risks jail


The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) have today released the results of a survey in which the extent of hidden assets is revealed. And it is surprisingly high.

According to the survey, carried out by OnePoll on people in the UK, a quarter of couples going through divorce (which is up to 120,000 couples per year according to the ONS) attempt to hide assets to save themselves money. And interestingly more women than men have admitted to doing this.

Either women are more likely to hide assets, or women are more likely to admit to hiding assets.

Risking jail

If there is a lack of trust in the relationship, or animosity, trying to put yourself in the best position possible seems a natural thing to do. However, this is an action which is punishable by a jail sentence.

In fact, the Daily Mail reported in January 2013 that a property tycoon was jailed for six months for failing to provide evidence of how he ‘lost’ his fortune in a Russian property deal. The asset information was key in finalising the divorce he was going through.

According to Christine Blacklaws, Director of Family Law at the Co-operative Legal Services, failure to divulge all financial information can ‘lead to imprisonment for contempt of court’. She goes on to say that ‘Married couples are potentially entitled to a share of the value of any property...including assets acquired before and during marriage and after separation.’

The CLS has put together a list of the most common ways people tried to hide their wealth. They include:

  • Hoarding cash as the prospect of divorce looms
  • Inventing debts owed to family members
  • Giving money to family members as a loan
  • Spending on a joint credit card or removing all the money from a joint bank account

It is possible to acquire court orders if you believe your spouse is doing this, or not being truthful to the court during the divorce process. It is important to speak to your solicitor about these possibilities, as it could strongly affect the outcome of any case.

Make sure you get what you are owed!

Original articles:

The Co-operative Legal Services
Daily Mail

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