Many spouses do try to hide savings and assets before divorce and/or during the process, which the court can penalise if it is found that you have tried to hide, transfer or spend money.
Savings and investments will form part of a financial settlement in a divorce and it should be relatively straightforward, if things are amicable, to negotiate with each other.
Although the way savings are divided in a divorce is different in each case, the court aims to make the split as fair as possible. However, it is important to realise that “fair” doesn’t always mean equal, as a number of other factors may be taken into account such as: income, earning capacity, property, children and duration of the marriage.
A full and frank disclosure of your savings and assets is required by the court, and any attempt to hide or exclude your savings or finances from the divorce settlement could colour the court’s view of your response to all questions.
Any spending of savings on housing or general living expenses would normally not be seen as wrongful behaviour. However, spending before divorce is considered reckless if you are funding a new partner’s lavish lifestyle or buying excessive alcohol, drugs or gambling. The courts could use “add-back”, which allows it to include any “missing” funds back into the pool of matrimonial finances to be shared.