One of the primary issues when filing for divorce in New York is dividing marital assets between the parties, through an equitable distribution. In some cases, another question will be the appropriateness and amount of alimony for one spouse. For both considerations, the law requires full, honest disclosure of all assets, income, and debts to ensure fairness. As such, it may be tempting to hide assets, deceive your spouse, or engage in other misconduct. Some parties act for purely financial reasons, while others are driven by spite.
No matter what your motivation to conceal or misrepresent your assets, doing so is a major mistake for multiple reasons. Making false or misleading statements under oath is unlawful, which means you could face legal penalties. Plus, being transparent in a divorce proceeding has advantages you may not have considered. A Schoharie County divorce lawyer can explain in detail, but an overview may be useful.
Both Parties Benefit Financially
Both parties to a divorce have access to discovery tools as provided in New York’s civil practice rules on disclosure. You must produce documents, answer written questions, and provide other information as requested by opposing counsel. The discovery process typically moves along smoothly, unless one party attempts to conceal assets or engage in misconduct. Protracted litigation on discovery disputes can cause legal fees to skyrocket for both sides. Transparency will keep you out of court.
Transparency Can Move the Process Along
Providing relevant information upfront, without a battle or dispute, ensures that your divorce proceeds efficiently through the court process. You are aware that opposing counsel can access this information through discovery anyway, so waiting for a request only causes delays.
Reduced Potential for Future Problems
In the rare event that you could get away with dishonesty related to your income or assets, there is still the possibility that your misconduct could come back to haunt you. Talk among family members or friends could raise suspicion in the mind of your former spouse. Even years after your divorce was complete, you could find yourself back in court.
Legal Consequences for Dishonesty
Regardless of whether your attempt to conceal assets is discovered during proceedings or after the divorce is final, the consequences can be severe. Based upon your dishonesty alone, a court may side with your former spouse on asset division or alimony. Worse, you could face legal sanctions. Your actions could be in contempt of court, subjecting you to fines or payment of the other party’s attorneys’ fees.
Discuss the Benefits of Transparency with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of full disclosure in a divorce case, please call the Colwell Law Group, LLC at 518-864-0564 or visit our firm online. Our legal team can explain more about how the process works and how transparency offers benefits throughout the process. If you suspect that your spouse is concealing assets, we are prepared to seek relevant information and fight for your rights in court.