Parties to a divorce proceeding are ordered to provide full disclosure of property and assets to each other. If a divorcing spouse does not fully disclose his or her financial circumstances in proceeding to a divorce agreement, or a trial, that spouse faces possible sanctions from the Court, for failing to provide full disclosure. A spouse who commits fraud upon the Court, risks having a court re-open a divorce Judgment, and, re-distribute property to the innocent spouse who is victimized by a spouse’s failure to be honest during the divorce. Not only can the Court reopen the divorce Judgment, and force the offending spouse to forfeit properties received in the divorce, but, the offending spouse also may have to pay the innocent spouse’s attorney’s fees and court costs. For example if, several months after the divorce is completed, a person learns that his or her former spouse failed to identify a retirement account when the parties were discussing the division of assets and debt in the divorce, that person should alert the court to this fact, and ask that the court revisit the judgment so that the newly discovered asset can be redistributed, along with other assets originally awarded in the judgment to the spouse who was willfully ‘kept in the dark’ by the offending spouse’s lack of candor. In addition, the innocent spouse can have his or her attorney’s fees and court costs awarded; since the offensive spouse’s unfair practices led to the unnecessary expenditure of attorney time and court time.
If you have questions about the role of marital assets in your Minnesota divorce proceedings, contact our family law attorneys today.