Heymann & Fletcher

Is your spouse hiding assets in your New Jersey divorce?

Even in the best of circumstances, divorce is a difficult process. It's hard to watch the end of a relationship you, at one time, thought would last the rest of your life. People often experience strong emotions, ranging from grief to anger. Some people just want the process over as quickly as possible. That feeling could be even more intense if your spouse has been acting in an aggressive or combative manner.

However, it's important to remember that the outcome of your divorce will impact the foundation for the rest of your future. The more upset your spouse seems, the more likely he or she may be to do something intended to impact the outcome of the divorce. One common underhanded behavior is the intentional hiding of assets. If you think your spouse could engage in this behavior, you should take steps to protect yourself.

Get copies of all your important financial documents

You may have access to your joint bank account and credit cards, but do you also have copies of income tax records for the duration of your marriage? Those can help you or a professional identify signs that your spouse diverted household income to a hidden account. They can also help you prepare for your financial future during and after divorce.

Even if you don't find any clear evidence of wrongdoing, having copies of these critical documents will make it easier for you to fight for a fair division of assets during the divorce. Those records can also help if you decide to work with a forensic accountant to locate any potentially hidden assets.

People can hide assets in many different ways

When people think about hidden assets in a divorce, they often imagine a hidden bank account, potentially in an offshore bank. Hidden accounts can be a concern, but they are far from the only place for someone to hide assets at the end of a marriage.

Some people slowly build up a cash stockpile over many weeks or months. Making small withdrawals from the bank will likely go unnoticed, and they can accrue into substantial amounts over time. Some people take it even farther, getting cash back at stores when using their debit card. That makes it even harder to trace the cash withdrawals.

Another popular way to hide assets is by acquiring items of significant value that the other spouse will have no interest in. Why would you want any of the antique baseball cards your spouse collects? Even if you don't want the actual items, you should include them in your inventory of assets and try to place a fair market value on them. That way, the courts can fairly allocate other assets to offset your spouse retaining valuable items he or she purchased during your marriage.

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Heymann & Fletcher
1201 Sussex Turnpike
Randolph, NJ 07869

Toll Free: 800-481-8549
Phone: 862-781-0029
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Heymann & Fletcher
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PO Box 518
Mount Freedom, NJ 07970

Toll Free: 800-481-8549
Phone: 862-781-0029