What Happens if You Keep Your Finances Secret in a Divorce?
One of the initial stages of the divorce process is known as the “discovery process”. During this stage, divorcing couples are required to disclose your assets. This is a critical part of the divorce process as it is relied upon to split assets and to determine who is awarded what.
Because your assets can be divided in divorce, you might be tempted to lie or leave out one of your financial accounts. The consequences for lying on divorce paperwork shouldn’t be taken lightly. Lying in court is against the law and the penalty could include a fine, jail time, or both.
This becomes especially problematic if your spouse has a family law attorney on their side. The opposing attorney will likely attempt to verify that the information you provided is truthful.
In some cases, the judge can grant a higher percentage of your assets to your spouse if you’re caught lying. Oregon is an equitable distribution state, which means assets are split fairly – which often times means a 50 / 50 split. But if you misrepresent your finances, the judge can grant a higher split to your spouse. You could also be forced to pay a higher alimony or the judge may even award the entire asset to your spouse.
Perhaps worst of all – you’ll lose credibility in the eyes of the judge. This could cost you big in other ways too.
As you can see, it’s simply not worth the risk.