New York is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital assets are not divided 50/50 but fairly. In order for a fair division of assets to occur, both parties need to know the value of their marital assets as well as what assets they own. Each party is entitled to an honest, full disclosure from the other party as you have a fiduciary duty to your spouse.
Hiding assets can have serious consequences, but your spouse may still try to hide assets from you (and the judge). You may suspect they are hiding assets if they:
- Are giving their friends and family “gifts”
- Embellish details concerning debts
- Make cash withdrawals
- Sell property below market value
- Submit bills or account information that you believe is fake
- Create an account with your children’s information
- Change their spending habits and buy expensive items
Finding Hidden Assets in Divorce
Discovering hidden assets can be challenging, and you should consult with your attorney if you suspect your spouse is concealing assets. A reliable attorney can help you:
- Investigate and find hidden assets
- Retain a forensic accountant
To uncover hidden assets, a forensic account can examine documents, including but not limited to:
- Tax returns (i.e. Form 1040 filings, refund information, Schedule A deduction information, etc.)
- Bank records
- Real estate records and/or reports
- Job applications
- Insurance policy information
- Court filings
- Credit reports
- Loan applications
It is also important to note that your spouse may try o leave income unreported by receiving it in cash, A forensic accountant can use a host of techniques to show that cash income is unreported and estimate the amount by using accounting methods, such as the asset, bank deposits, or expenditures method.
Consequences of Hiding Assets
If your spouse is caught hiding assets, they will face serious consequences. In addition to alienating themselves in court, they risk:
- Being required to pay for your legal fees as well incurred expenses from the investigation into the hidden assets.
- Having their attorney recuse themselves from the case and being left without an attorney.
- Being found in contempt of court or guilty of fraud, which can mean jail time and/or large fines.
- Invalidating your pre- or postnuptial agreement.
Contact Our Divorce Attorney Today
At Rubenfeld Law Firm, we understand that getting divorced can impact your emotional, mental, and financial health. You may feel as if you’ve lost your sense of normalcy and control, and having your spouse conceal assets can make you feel even more out of control.
Our divorce attorney has over 25 years of legal experience and focuses his practice on family law and divorce. If you suspect your spouse is concealing assets, our firm is equipped to help you navigate the divorce discovery process and investigation into the other party’s finances and assets.
Contact our office today at (631) 777-7200 or online to schedule a case consultation. No matter how complex your case is, we can work tirelessly to protect your assets and uncover any assets your spouse may have hidden.