Survey suggests that divorcing couples often hide assets

A survey, carried out for The Co-operative Legal Services by Onepoll, suggests that many people going through divorce could be hiding their wealth from their partners. Of the 800 divorcees questioned, nearly a quarter said they had tried to hide financial assets to “keep them secure”. Some of the common ways used to conceal wealth included:
  • Hoarding of cash coming up to a split
  • Making up fictitious debts owed to relatives
  • Going on a spending spree with a joint credit card
  • Transferring money to new partners or family members
  • Clearing out joint bank accounts
In two recent court cases, the men were given jail terms for failing to disclose full details of their incomes and assets. Divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag said the recent court cases had marked a change in attitude among judges to the hiding of assets. “Failure to disclose has been on the rise for years and the reason for that is that penalties… have not been enforced,” she said. Just over 40% of marriages end in divorce in England and Wales and although the survey wasn’t conducted nationally, it does highlight the need for couples to divulge financial information. Christina Blacklaws, director of family law at The Co-operative Legal Services, said “Lawyers for either party can instruct accountants to go through the financial affairs of a husband or wife whom they suspect has deliberately undervalued their wealth but in many cases it falls to solicitors to try and draw these things out of their clients.” The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with family law solicitors in Milton Keynes  and across the country.