Many divorces are messy. Under New Jersey law, each spouse is required to reveal all property to the other spouse so that an equitable division of assets can be reached. In some cases, however, a spouse attempts to hide property from the other in an effort to prevent the equitable division of assets. This is usually because the spouse believes that the other spouse does not deserve any part of those assets or that the other spouse is likely to claim a significant interest in those assets. At Goldstein Law Group, our Monmouth County high-asset divorce lawyers can guide you through these complex matters. We have over 50 combined years of experience handling high net worth divorces and know that sometimes spouses even hide assets overseas.Uncovering Hidden Assets during the Property Division Process
In a New Jersey divorce, a couple's property must be equitably distributed according to a number of factors. This division is not always 50/50. Instead, the process of division involves identifying all assets. The equitable distribution of property requires your attorney, and in some cases an expert, to identify all of the assets, determine income sources and liabilities, and develop an equitable division of the marital estate. The process of division becomes more complicated in high net worth divorces, and even more challenging if one spouse tries to hide marital assets.
Often, one spouse in a hidden asset case had little involvement in either the running of a closely held business or financial matters related to the household. That spouse might not understand what assets are in the estate, or might not realize their value. That spouse might also not know how to acquire the documents necessary to evaluating whether the other spouse has made a fair disclosure.
In New Jersey, divorcing spouses owe a duty of financial disclosure to the other spouse. This means they will need to disclose all financial matters relating to any real property they hold, personal property, furnishings, bank account information, business assets and income, and any other form of property or income. In some cases, a spouse may hide assets in a business entity. This is unethical and illegal. Our attorneys can use a number of different methods to ferret out hidden assets as appropriate, including discovery, depositions, and subpoenas. We use experts in some cases to analyze and find the discrepancies in tax returns, profit and loss statements, 1099s, and bank records. In many cases, hidden assets become known based on the marital lifestyle. In a lifestyle audit, we can look at the marital residence, real estate property or investments, real estate improvements, automobiles or other vehicles, vacations, savings, personal expenses that are run through a business, entertainment, gifts, and personal luxury property such as jewelry or antiques.
In some cases, a spouse hides assets overseas. Some of the issues related to possessing assets that have been hidden overseas involve determining where the assets are located in overseas accounts, investigating overseas assets that may be hidden, determining their full value, minimizing the impact of international taxation, creating new titles for the assets, and properly valuing overseas assets and ensuring their fair distribution.Seek Guidance from a Divorce Lawyer in Monmouth County
If you are concerned about hidden assets in your divorce, you should consult an attorney who has experience in high-asset divorces. At Goldstein Law Group, our family law lawyers are experienced in helping New Jersey residents search for hidden assets and value businesses. We maintain a main office in Old Bridge and a satellite office in Freehold, New Jersey. Many of our clients come from Middlesex County, as well as communities such as Manalapan, Rumson, and Red Bank. Contact us at 732-967-6777 or via our online form to set up a free consultation with a Monmouth County attorney.