There is often a temptation for divorcing parties to think about hiding assets from their spouse. A YouGov survey of 2,000 people published yesterday has found more than a third of people (36%) involved in divorces would hide their assets if they thought they could get away with it. In addition, nearly 60 per cent of women would consider fighting for ownership of a pet in divorce proceedings, compared with 37 per cent of men.
Nearly two thirds of those asked said that money inherited from parents before marriage should not form part of the family finances to be divided on divorce, with 39 per cent also wanting to exclude wealth inherited during the marriage.
Clearly, there is willingness for both men and women to deceive the other spouse on divorce if they feel they cannot be found out. Two thirds of those asked also believed that people often hid the true extent of savings and assets during a divorce, and 53 per cent said they thought people hid these details in anticipation of a divorce in the near future. If one party is suspicious, rightly or wrongly, that the other party is hiding assets, it could lead to them also trying to conceal their own financial picture to compensate.
Any family solicitor will tell you there are serious consequences for failing to give full and frank disclosure about your assets on divorce. For example, you could be committing fraud and any agreement reached between the parties about the family finances could be undone in the future. There are various ways of getting a party to disclose their assets. Inheritance must also be disclosed especially if it still forms party of either party’s assets. Wealth inherited prior to marriage can be excluded from the family finances on divorce, provided it is not required to meet the parties’ needs.
As a dog owner myself, it is not surprising to me that the issue of who keeps the family pet can become an emotional and important aspect to be resolved. It is always hoped that the parties can reach an agreement on this themselves, even if this is sometimes a shared care arrangement for the family pets!
Whilst the parties must disclose all their assets, it is my role as a family solicitor to advise on what should and should not be included as part of the family finances to achieve a fair settlement. The family team at Morrisons has expertise in all financial matters arising on divorce and separation.
If you would like to discuss any issues raised in this article or any family matters, please get in touch with me by email [email protected] or by phone on 01737 854500.