Some people make the mistake of thinking of hiding assets as a gray area. For instance, a husband may decide he wants to keep assets from his wife and so he’ll take money, give it to his best friend, and then plan on getting it back when the divorce is over. If pressed about it, he’ll say it was his money and he could do whatever he wanted with it, including giving it away. He’ll say it was his right.

The key thing to remember is that hiding assets like this — or in any other fashion — is fraud. It is very much illegal during a divorce case. Doing anything to keep a spouse from getting their fair share of the marital property is prohibited, and full disclosure of all family assets is required. If someone intentionally hides assets and then lies about it under oath, they could face strict ramifications.

People often convince themselves that they can do this just because they want to. But this is only wishful thinking. They talk themselves into it and then claim they never meant to break the law. Don’t make that mistake. Instead, take the time to carefully consider what you’re obligated to do during a divorce and then follow those guidelines.

Now, maybe you had no intention of hiding your assets, but you worry about your spouse. They run their own business, which may give them plenty of places to hide money, and they make the largest share of the family’s money. They’re also angry that you filed for divorce, so you think they may play fast and loose with the assets out of spite.

Not only do you want to keep a close eye on the family finances, but you also need to know what legal rights you have if they do hide assets.