The property division process that couples go through when divorcing can seem difficult enough to get through under normal circumstances. In situations where one spouse might be trying to hide assets from another, that whole process can seem even more stressful. Maryland residents who are dealing with property division may want to consider obtaining the assistance of an experienced family law practitioner in order to make sure that they have the best chances of discovering all marital assets that should be included when dividing up a married couple’s property.

Under Maryland law, divorcing couples must fully and completely disclose all assets which they possess. This includes all financial matters such as income, debts and expenses. Individuals who give in to the temptation to lie or fudge things a little to hold back some assets for themselves should resist that urge or they could find themselves facing harsh penalties.

One example of a divorcing spouse who faced just such penalties was a woman who won $1.3 million in the California lottery. Rather than honestly disclosing those newly-won assets, she actually filed for divorce 11 days later without listing the lottery winnings in her divorce documents. The court did not take this dishonesty lightly. As a result of her holding back on reporting her lottery winnings, the court actually awarded the entire amount of lottery winnings to her ex-husband.

Maryland spouses who are going through a divorce should view this as a cautionary tale. Property division must be an honest and straightforward process between couples who are dividing up their marital assets. Those who fear that their spouse may be trying to hide things from them may wish to consider obtaining the assistance of a professional who is experienced in discovering all types of financial assets during a divorce.

Source: Forbes, “What Are the Consequences Of Hiding Assets During Divorce?” Jeff Landers, Nov. 14, 2012