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New Jersey divorces can sometimes get complex and messy. The higher your assets are, the more unique risks you and your ex-partner will face. Studies show that high-asset divorces often involve more instances of hiding assets.

When a spouse hides assets, they are trying to keep their partner from getting their fair share. There are many ways to do this. But some people who hide assets do not understand that this is illegal. Not only that, but it carries heavy consequences.

Committing perjury by hiding assets

Forbes takes a look at this matter, asking what happens when you hide assets during divorce. The first thing they note is that parties must sign a financial affidavit during divorce. This outlines joint assets to aid courts in making fair decisions. Signing the affidavit means you agree that the information is true. What if you sign the document and provide false information? You violate civil law. In other words, you commit perjury.

This act of contempt to the court has different penalties. The penalties change based on what state, city and even district you are in. Judges may decide on a penalty. Some people may even risk incarceration. For example, some states punish perjury with up to four years in prison.

Punishments for hiding assets

Judges can also decide what to do about the assets you attempted to hide if discovered. In one famous anecdote, a woman hid a lottery prize she won 11 days before filing for divorce. After discovery, the judge awarded her earnings to her ex-spouse.

Attempting to hide assets rarely works out. It is best to be honest and upfront with your knowledge about your assets. Disclose everything at least to the best of your ability.