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Can you hide assets before divorce?

Is it possible to hide assets before divorce? One of the biggest divorce cases filling the papers of late is that of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. In the latest development, it’s reported that Johnny Depp has said that he won’t disclose any information about his earnings to Amber Heard – until she signs a confidentiality agreement.

Full financial disclosure between spouses during the divorce process is essential so that you, together with your solicitors (and the courts if necessary), can decide what a fair split of your finances will look like. If your spouse doesn’t fully disclose their finances during the divorce process then there can be very serious implications.

Can you hide assets before divorce?


What should I do if I think my spouse is hiding assets from me?

If you suspect that your spouse isn’t being fully honest about their assets then it’s important that you speak to a solicitor and tell them your concerns as soon as possible. If it turns out that your spouse is indeed hiding assets, then the courts will take this very seriously and have powers to punish your spouse in various ways – including by penalising your spouse by giving them a settlement which is less favourable.


What can the courts do to stop the assets being hidden?

There are various provisions that courts can use under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in order to stop your spouse transferring assets or order assets to be transferred back if they have already been transferred. Courts can also use freezing orders and search orders, if necessary.


Can I gather evidence that my spouse is hiding assets?

Yes – you are able to gather evidence, but only within the confines of the law. It is important that you go about collecting the information in the right way and avoid inadvertently committing a criminal offence – which could result in you going to prison. You need to also be aware of any relevant civil laws so you don’t end up being sued for damages, for example.

Before you start gathering evidence of your spouse’s hidden assets it’s a good idea to get legal advice to make sure you don’t fall foul of any criminal or civil laws.

Can I open my spouse’s letters in order to find evidence of hidden assets?

Opening your spouse’s letters could be a criminal offence and is not advisable. This also goes for checking their email – and indeed their computer – without their permission.


Our divorce has been finalised and I’ve since discovered my spouse was hiding assets – is it too late to do anything?

No. If your spouse was hiding assets during your divorce and you’ve only just found out then the case can be re-opened and a new financial order made. This applies even if your divorce has already gone through.

The courts place a huge amount of importance on full, open and honest financial disclosure during the divorce process and take anyone trying to hide assets very seriously. If you suspect that your spouse may be trying to hide assets then it is important that you speak to a specialist solicitor as soon as possible so that any necessary action can be taken.

For more information on this subject please visit our Legal Library.


Other articles that may be of interest to you?

Divorce financial settlement and my new partner – What is the effect?

Financial Settlement In Divorce – Your Guide

How to negotiate a financial settlement and the dangers of getting it wrong!

Financial Settlement after Divorce

Divorce Settlement: Who gets what?

What is the divorce process?

When is decree absolute granted in a divorce?

Decree Nisi – What does this mean in a divorce?

What are the first steps to divorce?

Is a cheap divorce really possible?


How can our expert divorce solicitors help you with can you hide assets before divorce?

Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to fair divorce settlements, including:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on can you hide assets before divorce?

For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email

Our expert family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.

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25th July 2016

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