Comprehensive, Effective

Family Solutions

How do the California family courts respond to hidden assets?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2022 | Property Division

You’re getting divorced, and one of the most important steps in a California divorce will be splitting up your property with your ex. The two of you need to share information with one another about your personal debts and property. If you don’t resolve the property division decisions on your own, then the two of you will go to court for a judge to split your belongings. 

If either of you intentionally withholds information about your assets during that process, what will the California family courts do in response to that misconduct? 

They may punish the person who lied

California’s community property rules require that spouses share their assets with one another in a divorce. Those who attempt to manipulate the outcome of the divorce in their own favor by lying about their property could lose more than they gain in the long run. 

One of the most famous cases in California relating to hidden assets involves a spouse not reporting lottery winnings before filing for divorce. When their ex-spouse eventually learned about the lottery tickets, they went back to court and were awarded the full value of the lottery winnings because the winner intentionally sought to deprive them of their share of that community property in the initial divorce. 

Hiding assets means taking a risk that you could lose them entirely if the courts or your ex later discover that misconduct. Searching for hidden assets if you suspect your ex wants to deprive you of your share of the marital property could help you hold them accountable.

Understanding the rules that influence property decision outcomes in California divorces can help you set yourself up for a better future after ending your marriage.