Pennsylvanian couples who are in the middle of a divorce will have to look at things like property and asset division. For some people, the thought of losing assets to an ex-spouse can get under their skin to the point that they may act rashly and attempt to hide assets. However, this is a bad idea for many reasons.

The Women’s Institute for Financial Education takes a look at some of the penalties that can be associated with being caught attempting to hide assets from your spouse. The main risk comes in the “discovery” phase, in which financial documents from both parties are collected so the attorneys can examine them. Some spouses may lie during this step.

However, you may be deposed. This will require you to talk about financial matters and answer questions while under oath. If you lie while on the stand or during a deposition, then you are actually committing perjury. This is a serious crime punishable by law. It can include probation, large fines, or even time in jail if you are caught in your lie.

You can’t refuse to provide the information requested during the discovery phase, either. If you do this, then the judge may decide to hold you in contempt of the court. This can also lead to large fines and time in jail.

When a spouse decides to hide their assets, they are usually not thinking along the lines of what may happen to them in the long run if they get caught, or they might believe they won’t get caught. It’s best not to risk it.