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Assets should not be hidden during property division

When it comes to divorce, both parties typically want to move on as quickly as possible, but with the assurance that a fair settlement has been reached. Understandably, two people who feel they can no longer continue together may have differing ideas on the definition of "fair". At times, some parties may be tempted to eschew full disclosure during the property division process. But is this permissible in British Columbia?

The simple answer is, no. The law requires that all assets be revealed during a divorce. This applies even to assets that a person may have kept hidden during the marriage itself. Those assets may now be considered family property and will likely factor into the division process.

Money earned during the marriage is the property of both spouses. The same applies to any physical possessions acquired in secret. However, assets that pre-date a marriage typically remain the property of the original owner.

Part of going through a divorce is completing a sworn financial statement. By deliberately omitting an asset from this document, an individual is essentially perjuring him or herself. Should the deception be discovered, the other party can file a motion and bring the issue to a judge.

The surest way to fair property division is to be forthcoming about one's personal finances. The lawyers at Peterson Stark Scott can help parties with this and other legal aspects of separation and divorce.

 

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