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Discovering hidden assets in your New Jersey divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2023 | Divorce |

One contentious area of divorce proceedings revolves around the division of assets. In New Jersey, divorcing couples must fairly and equitably split their marital property, but sometimes one spouse attempts to hide assets to avoid sharing them.

Hidden assets in a divorce can lead to an unfair division of property. To prevent this, it takes both recognizing and dealing with this dilemma.

Signs that indicate hidden assets

A sudden decrease in marital income, especially when a spouse owns a business, might suggest that they are hiding assets. If they start excluding their spouse from financial decisions or become overly secretive about financial matters, it could be a red flag.

Another indicator is lifestyle changes. If a spouse’s lifestyle does not match the income they report, it might indicate they are hiding assets. For example, they might be reporting a lower income but continue to make significant purchases or travel extensively.

Strategies to uncover hidden assets

Documents and records play a crucial role in discovering hidden assets. Tax returns, bank statements, business records and other financial documents can uncover discrepancies or unusual financial activity.

New Jersey courts allow discovery processes, including depositions and interrogatories, to gather information from the other spouse. A spouse can ask specific questions about the other spouse’s finances, and they must answer truthfully under oath.

Sometimes hidden assets may be overseas. Uncovering these requires an understanding of international banking laws and foreign property rights.

The role of New Jersey’s equitable distribution law

New Jersey follows the equitable distribution law for the division of marital assets. It doesn’t necessarily mean an equal split, but a fair one based on various factors like each spouse’s income, the duration of the marriage and the standard of living during the marriage.

To ensure a fair split, it’s crucial to disclose all assets. The court can penalize a spouse found hiding assets by awarding a more significant share of the remaining marital assets to the other spouse.

The detection of hidden assets ensures a fair division of property. Someone who is in the process of divorce should keep a careful eye out for potential signs and continue to be honest in their proceedings.