When Illinois couples start the process of a divorce, there are often sticky financial situations. One big issue among high asset couples includes hidden assets. The more assets someone has, the easier they think it is to get away with hiding some.
But most people who attempt to hide assets end up caught. Not only that, but they must face a penalty for this attempt. But what sort of penalty do they face?
The financial penalty of hidden assets
Forbes takes a look at the consequences for hiding assets during a divorce. In most cases, the court will ask this spouse to pay the share of assets that they owe you. For example, if they hide $10,000 in assets, the court may order them to pay you $5,000. Some judges get creative with their sentencing, too. For example, one woman won the lottery during the divorce process but neglected to report it. After her spouse discovered this, the judge made a final order. He ordered the woman to pay the entire lottery earnings to her spouse. Needless to say, this is much more than she would have otherwise paid if she did not try to hide the money.
Time in jail for hidden assets
What fewer people know is that you can face time in jail for hiding assets. How and why? It is because hiding assets is an act of perjury. When you begin the divorce process, you sign a financial affidavit. By doing this, you say that you are reporting your financial situation to the best of your abilities. If you intentionally lie in your reports, this is a violation of the affidavit. The court can hold you in contempt and you may face jail sentences of months to years.