A Houston Family Law Attorney Explains The Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Lie About Your Finances When You Are Getting A Divorce
As if all of the emotional pain associated with filing for divorce is not bad enough, there is the difficult conflicts as well of potential child support obligations, spousal support, and the financial strain that accompanies it. Since your net resources determine what you pay, you may be tempted to lie about your assets as part of your divorce proceedings. However, definitely don’t do that. That’s a very bad idea. Don’t ever lie about the assets that you have to reduce potential child support or spousal support costs. Doing that can get you into a lot of legal trouble, and it just gets worse under all of the stress that comes with the process of getting divorced. In this difficult situation, a Houston family law attorney can be a great help.
Different Ways That Individuals Might Attempt To Hide Their Assets
During the divorce process, it is required that both parties disclose all of their financial assets on a financial statement and provided to the Court at the first appearance. That form might sound like its just tedious paperwork that is part of the process. However, it actually is a critical part of the overall court proceedings. That written statement sets the baseline for your negotiations beyond that initial court date. That information can also be used by your spouse’s opposing attorney when cross-examining your finances. If you initially overstate your expenses or debts, understanding your assets value and income or directly omitting assets or income may backfire during the divorce process. After the dishonest evidence surfaces, it may be used against you. In what way you may be wondering? You should not lie about your finances in a divorce even if it is a high asset divorce case.
It may just seem like it’s a white lie, however, failing to be truthful when disclosing your finances may result in outcomes that are less than favorable in terms of splitting your assets or awarding child support or spousal support. If you get caught lying by either your ex-spouse or judge during discovery, then it could strengthen the case of your ex-spouse’s or jeopardize your own credibility with the judge. That immoral discovery might influence the decision of the judge when it comes time for spousal support to be determined, awarding child support or dividing assets. Depending on the case’s circumstances, the penalties can be harsh. There was one incredible case where a judge in California made the determination that a woman had acted maliciously by hiding lottery winnings of $1.3 million in her divorce. Every cent of the winning was awarded to her husband. Also, if it is found by the Court that you intentionally are trying to be “under-employed in order to avoid having high child support payments, the Court may apply the child support guidelines to what you potentially could earn. Therefore, substituting the judgment of the Court on what you could be earning no matter what your actual earnings are.
Your Best Bet
The most important thing is to hire an experienced and qualified divorce lawyer to handle your divorce, ranging from spousal support to child support. In terms of protecting your personal property, definitely don’t gamble away your future by trying to hide any of your finances. The best option is to consult with an experienced and skilled divorce attorney that can help you protect your assets. Make sure you are honest with your lawyer about all of your financial information, and the chances of you obtaining a favorable ruling will significantly increase. John K. Grubb, One of The Strongest Houston Divorce Lawyer & Family Law Attorney So whether you attempting to protect your assets or worried about a dishonest former spouse, then it is absolutely critical that you hired an experienced attorney with actual courtroom experience that has extensive divorce and family expertise that backs it up.