If You’re Thinking About Hiding Assets
If you’re thinking about hiding assets and obstructing discovery when going through a divorce, it’s probably because you feel helpless, unsure of the future, and afraid your hard earned money and property will be taken from you.
Before you think about taking this approach, consider the Goggin v. Goggin (2013 UT 16) opinion entered March of 2013. Because of a husband’s attempts to hide assets, this court ordered substantial attorney’s fees and costs the wife incurred while discovering the assets and accounts the husband attempted to hide. What did the husband get out of nearly ten years of litigating in court and hiding assets? Nearly ten years of litigation, a judgment against him to pay his wife’s attorney’s fees and costs (see the court’s rationale for attorney’s fees in the excerpt provided below), and a poor division of assets.
There are better and more ethical options to protect yourself. If you attempt to hide your assets, you will come across as greedy and unethical. You will be caught (your spouse is probably familiar with your finances, and your spouse and/or attorney will wonder where the money is going), and you will lose all credibility.
 The court further held that, when a court imposes an award of fees or costs as a sanction, its award must be limited to the amount actually incurred by the other party. While both parties should be aware of this limitation on the court’s authority (indeed, you cannot ask for attorney’s fees if you do not have an attorney or did not incur attorney’s fees, you will need to limit your request to sanctions)
 In some cases, greed is the main factor involved in hiding assets. In my experience, clients and potential clients generally express helplessness, uncertainty, and legitimate fear of the future. The desire to hide assets is not about “greed,” but a desire to take control of their lives from hands of the court system.