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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.[1] 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.[2] 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.

[1] 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)

[2] 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.

Client Reviews
Mckail is an amazing young attorney that knows exactly what to do. More knowledgeable than some of her peers that have been practicing for over 20 years. Very detailed oriented in the entire process. Has no problem confronting other lawyers when it comes to fairness of her clients. Would recommend to anyone going through a divorce to call Atticus Legal Group before anyone else. Marc N.
Mckail Hamilton is professional, she has a great understanding of what the needs and wants of her clients are. She also is able to offer realistic expectations and she works hard to get things done in a timely manner. Mckail made this emotional process a lot more manageable for me. Thanks again. Amy M.