Hiding assets during divorce is illegal and has severe penalties in New Jersey
In some marriages, one spouse may take care of all the finances. The other spouse may be unaware of all the assets and liabilities they have. That’s okay as long as the relationship is strong and happy. But, when things are not going well and divorce proceedings are initiated, it’s critical that both spouses understand their finances. In most divorces, both parties are open and honest about their financial situation. They may disagree on how to divide assets, but they usually agree on what those assets are and they know when those assets seem to vanish.
Divorce is a difficult, emotional ordeal that may cause divorcing spouses to act irrationally or vindictively. Unfortunately, it’s common for a divorcing spouse to attempt to hide assets from the other spouse. If you are tempted to do so, don’t! It’s illegal and the penalties are severe.
Consequences of concealing assets during a NJ divorce
No matter how much you like or dislike your spouse, you’re not allowed to defraud your spouse. In NJ, hiding assets during a divorce can result in:
- Fines, jail and/or imprisonment
- Losing credibility in the eye of the judge/court overseeing divorce proceedings
- Your attorney resigning from your case
- Being required to pay all of your spouse’s legal bills
- Forfeiting the entire value of the hidden assets
These are very serious consequences that should be a deterrent to anyone thinking about hiding assets during a divorce.
Some ways to find hidden assets
If you suspect your spouse may be hiding assets during a divorce, you can work with your divorce attorney and a forensic accountant to seek proof. They might work with you to take actions such as:
- Hiring a computer expert to explore files on a jointly-owned computer
- Requesting bank statements, cancelled checks and records for all accounts
- Obtaining credit card and loan statements
- Contacting your spouse’s employer to get information about 401k and stock accounts
- Obtaining past income tax returns and looking for any accounts you were unaware of or accounts that no longer appear on current returns or divorce filings
- Searching for inconsistencies in financial information
A forensic accountant can uncover hidden assets , undervalued assets, misstatement of income, assets
or liabilities, business cash flow and other financial statements. If hidden
assets are found, your divorce attorney can help ensure that your spouse covers
the legal and forensic accounting costs. Your lawyer will also let the court
and your spouse’s attorney know that hidden assets have been discovered.
New Brunswick, NJ attorney can help you find hidden assets
Attorney Steven Cytryn can help you get the information and guidance you need to prove your spouse has hidden assets. As an experienced NJ divorce lawyer, Steven Cytryn works with forensic attorneys to uncover concealed assets. He compassionately and aggressively advocates for you during your divorce. Contact the Law Offices of Steven M. Cytryn online or at (732) 214-1103.