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In mediation and litigation, all assets must be disclosed

Even the most amicable of divorces can cause a man or woman to have financial concerns. Living life as a single person may no longer be familiar, and as such one might worry about being fiscally self-sufficient. It may only be natural, then, to consider concealing a portion of one's assets during mediation, or whatever path the divorce may take. Whether this is a wise or acceptable strategy bears discussion.

The potential benefits of this option may seem obvious, at first. The fact of the matter, however, is concealing assets or liabilities during divorce proceedings is not allowed in British Columbia, or anywhere in Canada. All of a person's assets must be revealed for property division to be addressed fairly. This includes any cash, accounts or property a man or woman may have concealed from his or her spouse. In short, every financial gain or loss each spouse made during the marriage is marital property.

Not simply a matter of picking the moral high ground, there are potential consequences to hiding assets. A sworn financial statement is a part of every divorce, and it lists all assets and liabilities of both parties. Should an omission be discovered, a judge can be asked to make a ruling based on the new information. Odds are, the settlement will favour the honest party, and not the dishonest one.

A lot of tough decisions have to be made during a divorce, whether the process is contentious or harmonious. An easy decision, however, should be choosing transparency over deception. Another good decision might be to seek the services of an experienced and caring British Columbia family law firm for mediation, or another route to divorce.

Source: moneysense.ca, "I'm getting divorced. Do I need to disclose my secret bank account?", Debbie Hartzman, Feb. 10, 2017

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