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When hidden assets taint the property division process

On Behalf of | May 10, 2024 | Property Division

When a New Jersey couple navigates divorce, their primary goal is to achieve a fair settlement. If you’re headed to court as a parent who is parting ways from a spouse, then custody issues will no doubt be a central focus of your proceedings. However, property division is important as well. Delays and other serious problems may occur if your ex isn’t playing by the book.

Hidden assets are a divorce-related issue that makes proceedings a lot more stressful. Not only can a hidden asset scheme prevent you from obtaining the maximum amount to which you may deserve, it causes intense emotional distress as well. It doesn’t shed a positive light on your ex if he or she is willing to try to deceive the court and to give you the short end of the stick.

How to tell if your ex is hiding assets

The following list shows some issues that should raise red flags of suspicion regarding the possibility that your former spouse is trying to hide assets when preparing for property division proceedings:

  • He or she becomes defensive or argumentative if you ask about expenditures or financial activity.
  • Bank statements and other financial documents are no longer coming to your home in the mail.
  • Your tax returns show different information than what your ex has disclosed.
  • Your ex has denied you access to online accounts or financial information stored on a computer.
  • Someone is giving or paying back loans that you knew nothing about.

These are all suspicious behaviors that often occur when one spouse is trying to pull the wool over the other spouse’s (and the court’s) eyes during property division proceedings in a divorce. If the court discovers a hidden asset scheme, the judge may hold the offending spouse in contempt, which may include substantial fines or even jail time.

How do you resolve a hidden asset problem?

Enlisting outside support is the best way to resolve a hidden asset problem in a New Jersey divorce. Forensic accountants and others can help you investigate and gather evidence, which you can then bring to the court’s attention. Hiding assets in a divorce is a form of perjury.

You have the right to a fair settlement when you and your ex divide marital property and liabilities. If your ex is trying to walk away with more than his or her fair share, you can take legal steps to uncover and stop a hidden asset scheme.