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Honest spouses gain the upper hand in divorce proceedings

Colorado law dictates that spouses must honestly report all of their assets, debts, expenses and income during divorce proceedings. However, it’s very tempting for a spouse to squirrel a little bit — or even a lot — of cash away that they don’t reveal during divorce proceedings.

The cash hiding could go unnoticed and the dishonest spouse might even get away with it. However, if the other spouse is careful and diligent to hunt down all hidden assets, the dishonest spouse could pay the price in a very big way.

How do spouses hide assets?

Spouses will do a lot of things to hide assets during their divorces. For example, they might try to undervalue certain pieces of property or outright hide certain property. Overstating debts and expenses, and underreporting income are asset-hiding tricks that could allow a spouse to keep more property.

Even though these strategies are completely illegal and misguided, almost a third of married adults who put together their assets with their spouses claim that deception about money became an issue in their marriages. Here are some other sobering statistics about spouses and money from the National Endowment for Financial Education:

  • 58 percent of people admit to hiding cash money from their partners.
  • 54 percent admit to hiding purchases from their partners.
  • 30 percent admit to hiding a bill or statement from their partners.
  • 34 percent admit to lying about money, debts and finances.

It’s important to note that spouses might get away with this kind of behavior while married, and there might not be a huge legal consequence. However, if dishonest, asset-hiding behavior persists during divorce proceedings, the dishonest spouse will suffer consequences.

The consequences of hiding assets

Courts will often favor the honest spouse when the other spouse is engaging in deceptive asset-hiding practices. For example, courts may punish the deceptive spouse by awarding more money and assets to the honest spouse during the asset division process. As you can see, it pays to be honest during a divorce, and it also pays to root out and uncover deceptive practices during asset division.

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