There is one clear lesson you need to know about North County Family Law Courts: You should never attempt to hide assets in a Carlsbad divorce.
Attempting to conceal an asset or substantially reduce it’s reported value is illegal and almost always discovered. Here in California, divorcing spouses owe each other a “Fiduciary Duty.” They must continue to act in the other’s best financial interest throughout the marriage until the final divorce decree is issued. This applies to all community property including bank accounts, real estate, credit cards, investments, business ownership (and it’s accounts and assets) and all income.
If you attempt to hide assets in a Carlsbad divorce or provide information which is in anyway untrue, misleading, incomplete or untrue you can be held in contempt of court and charged with perjury. In addition, Judges have full discretion when it comes to community property identification, valuation and division.
There is an infamous example in California case law where a business owner set up a separate company under a friend’s name and transferred all the business assets to that new company prior to filing for divorce. His goal was obvious and simple: preserve entire control and ownership of his business interests. His filings with the Court obviously showed far fewer assets, income and valuation for the business than it had been previously worth. Forensic accounting turned up all of the facts in this case and the Judge was righteously furious. He awarded the entire business and all of its assets and accounts to the wife. Harsh penalties are assessed to those who attempt to hide assets in a Carlsbad divorce.
An asset doesn’t have to be hidden to trigger perjury or contempt of court charges. The valuation of assets is often disputed between the parties. On the one hand, qualified experts may absolutely disagree about an asset’s value or use differing methods to establish valuation. However, if one of the parties purposefully misrepresents or understates the value of an asset it is tantamount to hiding the asset. Furthermore, if you attempt to artificially reduce the value of any asset it can be considered an act of criminal fraud under California law.
The experienced divorce attorneys at Burke & Domercq are Certified Family Law Specialists who know how to pursue red flags. If you suspect your spouse is attempting to conceal or undervalue assets in a Carlsbad divorce we invite you to contact us or call 760-712-3741 to learn more or schedule an appointment.