Going through a divorce and all of the associated issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, division of assets, and business and investment valuation and division can be extremely stressful. Even an un-contentious divorce can be a time-consuming and complex process. A contentious divorce can be even more difficult, especially if your ex is trying to hide assets in order to avoid dividng them in alimony and division of asset settlements.
When the numbers don't seem to add up, and you think your spouse may be hiding assets from the divorce settlement, here are a few places they might be, and a few tips to help combat these under-handed tactics.
My Spouse is Hiding Assets with a Third Party
Tangible assets such as jewelry and valuable artwork can be hidden with a third party, possibly a relative or a close friend. Additionally, your spouse could potentially deposit money into this third party's bank account if they are trusted enough. They could also set up "dummy" accounts in the name of a shell business and transfer valuable stocks, bonds, and investments into this account.
The best way to combat these tactics is to consult with an experienced Morris County family law attorney. Your attorney will have trusted investigators look into the situation, and once evidence of the hidden assets has been discovered, your divorce attorney will be able to present that evidence to the court, and use it to negotiate a much more favorable settlement for you than if your ex had simply declared those assets from the get-go.
My Spouse is Overpaying the IRS
Another common method of hiding assets during a divorce settlement is that of overpaying the year's taxes. By overpaying taxes, the marriage's liquid assets will be diminished and as a result, so will your division of asset settlement and any support settlements you negotiate. Then, the following year, the IRS will apply the extra amount paid from the previous year towards the current year's taxes, effectively letting your spouse pay his taxes with the marital resources.
My Spouse is Purposely Not Collecting Overdue Invoices and Yearly Bonuses
Another commonly used tactic for hiding assets from a divorce settlement is to purposely delay billing clients until after the divorce settlement has been finalized. This can occur when your spouse or the family owns their own business. By delaying payment from clients, potential earnings which should have been part of the marital property are now hidden from the divorce settlement.
Your spouse may also request his or her employer to delay any potential raises / bonuses until after the divorce has been finalized. This effectively hides those earnings from your divorce settlement agreement, when legally they should have been subject to equitable distribution.
How to Stop Your Spouse From Hiding Assets
If you believe your spouse is potentially hiding assets from your divorce settlement, your best recourse is to consult with an experienced Morristown divorce attorney. They in turn will be able to contact forensic accounting experts, people with whom your attorney has worked with in the past, and knows to be effective and reliable. Once they have fully investigated the case, your attorney will be able to present the accountant's findings to the court, and ensure all of the marriage's assets are properly and fairly divided.
It is also important that you inform yourself of your marriage's finances. The more you know about your family's income, expenses, debts, and investments, the more you can help your divorce attorney when it comes time to divide the marriage's assets.
Contact a Morris County NJ Divorce Attorney
At The Law Office of Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Bradley, our lawyers have extensive experience helping clients in Morristown, Parsippany, Randolph, Madison and the surrounding areas with all of their divorce related issues. Practicing exclusively family law, our firm has seen all of the tricks a spouse might use to hide assets in a divorce settlement, and we know exactly how to find these assets, and secure you the divorce settlement you deserve.
To speak our family law team today about any issue you may have regarding your divorce, contact us online or through our Morristown office at 973.975.4043.