Hidden Assets and Divorce Attorneys Bergen County, NJ
Protecting Our Client’s Financial Rights in New Jersey
One of the most important agreements reached in any Bergen County divorce is that of a marital asset division agreement. New Jersey’s equitable distribution laws fundamentally state that all marital assets and debt need to be divided equitably between the couple before any divorce can be granted, however, these laws can become quite complex.
If one spouse or another fails to disclose certain assets, or is hiding the true value of certain assets, how can they be equitably divided? The answer is, of course, they cannot, but the good news is, along with the help of our experienced marital asset division attorneys, you can identify all of the assets which by law you are entitled to divide with your spouse, and ensure that any and all marital assets are correctly valued, giving you the fairest final asset division agreement possible.
With extensive experience working with divorce clients, financial appraisers, and forensic accountants alike, our attorney team has already successfully and favorably resolved the equitable distribution process for many clients getting divorced in New Jersey. Contact our firm to discuss your unique needs and concerns regarding your division of asset agreement, and/or your concerns regarding the possibility that your spouse is hiding assets or incorrectly valuing them.
Hidden Assets and “The Discovery Phase”
Perhaps the most important part of any divorce’s equitable distribution process is what is known as “the discovery phase”. During the discovery phase, both parties and their Ridgewood asset division lawyers may make formal requests for the production of various documents, testimonials given under oath, and other financial records.
If you have any concerns that your spouse is hiding assets or inaccurately valuing assets, now is the time to raise these concerns to our asset division lawyers. Additionally, if you have traditionally left the handling of your marital finances to your spouse, and do not have an intimate understanding of your marriage’s financial situation and obligations, now is the time to also make this clear to our attorney team.
By using the discovery process, and requesting information such as bank records, account statements, tax forms, income statements, sworn statements from your spouse regarding the information produced, and any other relevant information, our attorneys can paint the clearest possible picture of your marriage’s assets and holdings and their exact values, information critical to the next step in the marital asset division process.
In addition, using the discovery process, our Ridgewood asset division attorneys will also be able to determine whether the information is being withheld from the discovery process, and further investigation and potential legal action are necessary to uncover other hidden marital assets.
Hidden Assets and Commonly Used Tactics to Hide Assets
If during the discovery process, you and/or our attorneys have any reason to believe that certain assets are still being hidden, chances are your spouse will be hiding those assets through methods common to many divorces involving hidden assets. The most commonly employed methods for hiding assets from the discovery phase and marital asset division are:
- Hiding Assets with a Third-Party – Many times high-value assets such as jewelry or artwork can be given by one spouse to a trusted friend or third party. Similarly, money, stocks, bonds, and investments can be moved into the accounts or name of a trusted third-party, or even into the accounts of a “shell company”.
- Overpaying the IRS – Another commonly used tactic to hide assets is for a spouse to overpay their year’s taxes. By giving more money than what they actually owe to the IRS, that spouse can not only drain liquid assets from a marital account and put them into the possession of the IRS, but also use those same assets to pay for the following year’s taxes.
- Not Collecting Invoices or Bonuses – A spouse who wishes to hide assets from marital asset division may also purposely not collect on overdue invoices if they own their own business. Or, if employed by a company, that spouse may request that their pay, or any bonuses or raises they have earned, to be delayed for a time. In both cases, these assets would be considered marital assets and subject to equitable distribution, but by delaying their collection, it would effectively be hidden from the asset division process.
Of course, if a spouse is truly committed to hiding assets from their marital asset division agreement, there are other methods for doing so, but the three methods mentioned above are the most commonly seen methods for hiding assets during divorce by our hidden asset lawyers.
If you, for any reason, suspect that your spouse is hiding assets from your division of asset agreement, it is important that you raise this concern with our attorneys so that we can take the steps necessary towards discovering those assets, and ensuring that your equitable distribution process is fair to you and financially accurate.
Penalties for Hiding Assets During Divorce
When it comes to hiding assets during a divorce, there are a variety of potential consequences for each party. In the case that your spouse hides assets from you, then, of course, you will not receive a fair marital asset division agreement, and in many cases, even receive less financial support in terms of both child support and spousal support.
On the other hand, if a spouse is found to be hiding assets, or lying about assets in any way, they may face a variety of severe penalties and consequences. Many times, a judge will impose sanctions and fines on this party for having hidden assets, and that same party may also wind up receiving much less than the 50% of marital assets they normally would have been entitled to during the equitable distribution process.
Finally, since all documents and testimony during the discovery process are provided “under oath,” there are cases in which a party hiding assets can face perjury charges, a federal crime. Clearly, there are many reasons for individuals to discover and value assets when they are being hidden, but also a great number of reasons to never hide them in the first place.
Contact Our Hackensack Hidden Asset and Asset Division Attorneys Today
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our financially savvy attorneys have extensive experience accurately valuing assets during a divorce, finding hidden assets, and ensuring that all marital assets are favorably and equitably divided for our clients.
Our firm regularly handles complex asset division processes involving privately owned businesses and business partnerships, commercial properties, retirement funds, and investment portfolios. We understand just how important these assets and the efforts and contributions they represent are to you, and as such we are prepared to work closely with financial experts of all kinds to ensure that your own financial best interests represented, protected, and secured.
To speak with our divorce and asset division team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your marital asset division agreement, any concerns you may have that your spouse is hiding assets, and how our firm can help you, contact our firm today.