Hidden Assets in Divorce Cases
Money is a source of much disagreement among couples, even when the rest of the marriage is going well. In fact, some couples have so much difficulty agreeing on how to handle the finances that the stress and conflict related to that issue eventually leads to divorce. Sometimes, though, arguing over finances is not the problem. With some couples, the money issue that ruins the relationship beyond repair is financial deception, usually when one spouse hides assets or debts from the other spouse.
Financial deception is different from arguing about money because one party to the marriage takes steps to keep specific facts hidden from the other spouse. This means that in some marriages, financial deception could go on for years before the innocent spouse discovers it. Financial deception can take on a variety of forms, including concealing purchases, hiding debts, or maintaining secret bank accounts.
Some financial deception takes place during divorce proceedings, as opposed to during the course of the marriage, in order to prevent one person from obtaining the property distribution to which he or she is entitled. One spouse may attempt to hide assets by selling them, temporarily handing them over to friends and family members, opening foreign bank account, or otherwise attempting to conceal assets. Divorce mandates full financial disclosure, so deceptive acts of this nature are likely to get the person committing them into trouble when attorneys get involved, financial paperwork is exchanged, and the discovery process occurs. Divorce attorneys have developed many methods of checking financial statements against financial records and investigating hidden assets. These skilled divorce attorneys are often able to help their clients by discovering assets that are part of the marital estate in cases where there has been financial deception during the marriage, during the divorce, or both. Also, as discussed previously, divorce attorneys work can work closely with financial experts, such as forensic accountants, to find hidden assets.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. In equitable distribution states, courts are permitted to order, and parties are permitted to agree to, property distributions that are not exactly a fifty/fifty split of assets. The only requirement is that the distribution be “fair,” so an uneven distribution could be justified in a case where one party deceived the other with respect to their finances and attempted to conceal property in which the other spouse had an interest.
The Bronzino Law Firm: Protecting the Financial Interests of New Jersey Divorce Clients
Whether the money issues in your relationship with your soon-to-be former spouse involved frequent arguments over money, poor financial habits, or financial deception, you deserve a property distribution that is fair to you. You can increase your chance of getting the property settlement by working with a knowledgeable New Jersey Family Law Attorney. The Bronzino Law Firm is located in Brick, New Jersey. We serve the surrounding communities, including Ocean County and Monmouth County. To learn more about how we can help you with your New Jersey divorce, please contact our office today for a free, initial consultation. Call us at (732) 812-3102. We look forward to hearing from you.