Divorce can be a highly contentious legal matter. Emotions tend to run high, and in some cases, spouses pit themselves against each other as enemies. They may begin to think that they should have a greater share of the marital assets. However, there are penalties for hiding assets in a divorce that can be imposed if either spouse commits this type of misconduct. If you are concerned about the possibility that your spouse may be hiding assets in a divorce, consider contacting the experienced divorce attorneys at Colorado Divorce Law Group by calling (720) 593-6442.
Colorado is an “equitable distribution” state for dividing property during a divorce proceeding. Under Colorado Revised Statutes § 14-10-113, the court must divide the marital property in a “just” manner after considering all relevant factors. Marital misconduct is not considered a relevant factor under this law. However, if a spouse knowingly conceals assets during the divorce process, the court can consider this deception when dividing marital assets. The Court can also consider “economic fault” such as dissipation of the assets for improper purposes, especially in contemplation of divorce and when the other spouse had no knowledge of the dissipation.
Colorado Revised Statutes § 14-10-113 defines, in sum, marital assets as any property acquired by either spouse after the marriage except property that was:
***There is one caveat to all of the above, which concerns when separate property either acquires a marital component, or is commingled to the extent that it transmutes the separate property to a marital asset. These issues are complex and will be the subject of a separate post, but note them for now as they may be relevant to your case.
Colorado law requires spouses going through divorce to fully and honestly disclose specific information on a sworn financial statement, including information about their:
Spouses must swear under penalty of perjury that the information on this form is complete and accurate. They must also sign another document stating that they fulfilled the requirements of mandatory financial disclosures.
Colorado law provides a five-year lookback period regarding undisclosed assets in a divorce. This means that if your spouse failed to disclose an asset or drastically misrepresented its value and you later discover this information, you have up to five years to request the property division order be revised.
Virtually any asset can be hidden during a divorce. However, more common assets that are hidden during a divorce include:
Part of the difficulty of tracking down hidden assets is that there are so many ways that assets can be hidden, including:
Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure (C.R.C.P.) 16.2 requires that spouses provide a full disclosure of a couple’s finances during a divorce. If either spouse violates this duty, the court may assign greater benefits to the spouse who was negatively impacted. Additionally, the person found to have hidden assets can be found in contempt of court and potentially be jailed.
If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, there are several things you can take to protect your rights and the divorce process, including:
If you are concerned that your spouse is hiding assets or have been accused of this act yourself and would like more information about the penalties for hiding assets in a divorce, consider seeking legal assistance. The Colorado Divorce Law Group has handled many divorce cases, including high net-worth cases and those involving hidden assets. You can schedule a confidential consultation by calling our dedicated and experienced family law attorneys today at (720) 593-6442.