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For Better Or For Worse...in Secrecy And In Wealth

LONDON, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

New survey reveals the criminal lives of devious divorcees

A quarter of warring couples are potentially risking prison by hiding financial assets from partners during a divorce according to a new study published today (22 February).

Each year around 120,000* marriages end in divorce, which equates to an incredible 30,000 people risking a prison sentence.

The research by The Co-operative Legal Services shows women are most likely to risk the wrath of a judge by hiding finances and possessions during a divorce. Four fifths of men claim to have been completely open and honest with their ex about their finances.

The study also revealed that for one in seven divorcees, revenge was their main objective - ahead of getting the kids or the house.

Half of divorcees admitted that a lack of trust in their partner was the main reason they hid cash, investments or expensive possessions. A quarter of the more devious divorcees planned their separation and said they had taken steps to keep their wealth secret.

Christina Blacklaws, Director of Family Law at The Co-operative Legal Services, said: "During a divorce, couples have a legal obligation to divulge financial information and failure to do so can ultimately lead to imprisonment for contempt of court.

"Married couples are each potentially entitled to a share of the value of any property that either or both own at the time of their divorce. This includes assets acquired before and during the marriage and after separation.

"Lawyers for either party can instruct accountants to go through the financial affairs of a husband or wife whom they suspect has deliberately undervalued their wealth but in many cases it falls to solicitors to try and draw these things out of their clients."

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