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Lying about finances during a divorce is illegal

According to the results of a survey, divorcing women in Ohio should be more prepared than divorcing men during the split. Reports indicate that men are more likely to lie about their financial situation during a divorce than women are: In a High Asset divorce, this can result in a considerably different property division process.

The study was conducted by the National Endowment for Financial Education. Data from the NEFE show that 65 percent of women surveyed said that their spouse had lied to them about finances while 47 percent of men said the same. In addition, more than 30 percent of adults in the U.S. that have combined assets with a partner or spouse said that they had lied about money issues before. Some would say that these figures show how important money and communication can be in a marriage.

Those who choose to lie during the period of financial discovery in a divorce often do so to make sure that certain assets stay with them and are not divided between themselves and their soon-to-be former spouses. Those who lie may do so by overstating their debts, reporting lower than actual income, reporting higher than actual expenses, or hiding, undervaluing or understating marital property. Lying about your finances during a divorce is illegal. Even so, experts find that many spouses still attempt it.

According to court law, the signing of a document during civil procedure indicates that the signer believes that the contents of the document are true to the best of his or her knowledge. If this is not the case and the person is lying, he or she may be penalized for perjury. In some cases, it can end up with the dishonest party being incarcerated.

There are also other ways of punishing these individuals. In one specific case, a woman won $1.3 million in the lottery and attempted to divorce her husband less than two weeks later. She did not report the winnings during the proceedings but they were eventually discovered. Had she reported them, her husband would have received only half. Instead, the court awarded all of the winnings to him.

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

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