Ohio couples like you have a lot to focus on when dividing assets during divorce. The higher your assets are, the harder it is to keep track of them. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous people may take this as a chance to try hiding assets.
But attempting to hide assets during divorce can net bigger penalties than you imagine. If your ex-spouse tries to hide assets during divorce, what might happen to them?
How does the financial affidavit come into play?
Forbes looks at the illegality of hiding assets through the lens of your financial affidavit. Every divorcing couple going through contested divorce must sign this affidavit. Even some couples going through uncontested divorce must do the same. This affidavit is your way of saying to the court that you swear you are telling the truth about your assets to the best of your knowledge.
Penalties for perjury
So what if you intentionally lie about them, then? You are lying under oath, which is an act of perjury and can get you held in contempt of court. In Ohio, the court categorizes perjury as a third degree felony. In general, third degree felonies can result in 9 to 36 months of imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.
The judge can also request additional fines or penalties. For example, a judge may order someone to pay for their spouse’s legal fees if they attempted to hide assets. Often, the judge also awards some or all hidden assets to the other spouse.
In the end, attempting to hide assets results in a net loss for the person trying to hide them. It is a serious crime that results in serious penalties.