Hiding Assets: Should I Transfer Money before Divorce?

a bride and groom figure standing back to back symbolising divorce

The division of assets can be a complicated process, often leading to hostility, which is why some people opt to hide assets and transfer money before a divorce — whether as a financial tactic or to annoy their spouse. But the question is, should you hide assets before divorce?

Every divorce is different. In some cases, both parties agree on the terms of the divorce and divide assets equally and fairly, but for others, the division of assets can be a complex and hostile process. Not only this, but a financially unfavourable divorce settlement has the potential to shape the rest of your life — making it a prospect many people will do anything they can to avoid. One way some spouses aim to achieve this is by hiding assets before the divorce process so they won’t be including in divorce settlement and subsequently divided between both parties. 

In this post, we’ll discuss hiding assets from your spouse and how it will affect your case if you transfer money before a divorce.

Is it illegal to Hide Assets?

During a divorce, you will have to disclose all of your assets, so the court has a clear idea of exactly what is on the table for the divorce settlement — so naturally, there will always be people who attempt to beat the system by hiding assets or providing inaccurate valuations of assets such as businesses. However, doing this is not only immoral but also crosses the line legally —  meaning the courts will believe your actions were intended to deceive them for your gain. 

In recent years, there have been cases where people who have hidden assets from their partner have done so successfully to gain a more favourable financial settlement, only to be discovered years later and find they had to pay substantial financial restitution to their former spouse. This proves that whether it’s during your divorce or years later, hiding assets is more trouble than it’s worth.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Spouse is Hiding Assets

Unfortunately, there are several ways for your spouse to hide assets. The most common is the movement of money into a different account or passing it onto a third party. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, your best bet is to seek the help of a specialist family lawyer as they will have an abundance of experience regarding the division of marital assets. From here, you’ll be able to get the best possible advice about your rights and how to proceed. 

If your spouse is unwilling to admit any wrongdoing or continues to hide assets, it’s a good idea to hire an independent forensic accountant as they’ll be able to find any funds or assets you’re entitled to. 

Want more information about hiding assets and transferring money before divorce? Don’t hesitate to get in touch today and schedule a FREE no obligation consultation with one of our skilled and experienced family lawyers

After four years working at a top-tier, award-winning family law firm in Hertfordshire, Che joined KMJ in January 2018. Prior to this, Che trained and qualified at a high-profile commercial and media firm based in London’s West-End.