Dividing property is one of the most legally challenging aspects of a divorce. Individuals may be tempted to try to hide valuable items or money from a former spouse during these proceedings. However, North Carolina family law does not look kindly on attempts to do this, and consequences can be significant. In addition, many tactics used to hide property come with their own set of risks.
One example is a woman who signed her property over to her child in order to “protect” it from the divorce. The woman then found that the child was unwilling to give her access to the home later in life. Should she try to get the house back, for example using elder law, she could face serious questions and repercussions about having attempted to remove it from the divorce settlement. This leaves her extremely vulnerable and without recourse to get the property back from her child.
Signing property over to a supposedly trusted loved one can also leave it vulnerable to that loved one’s own life ups and downs. In this woman’s case, even if the child intended to give her mother access to the property, the child could get divorced or even become bankrupt. Alternatively, the former spouse could find out and bring the court’s attention to the maneuvering, which could impact the divorce outcome overall.
Individuals who are particularly concerned about the fate of certain property in divorce have options under family law. For example, they can sign a prenuptial agreement. Or they can hire a savvy and trusted North Carolina lawyer who can clarify their options under family law. Hiding property through illegal means, however tempting it may be in some cases, can open individuals up to many negative consequences to which there is no easy fix.