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Can One Spouse Hide Assets In a Divorce?

Posted on : July 18, 2021, By:  Mary Katherine Brown
Brooklyn Divorce Lawyer

Assets that have been gained during the course of a marriage are considered the equal property of both spouses and must be distributed equitably.  This can occur either when the divorcing couple reaches a compromise about who gets what after the divorce, or a judge may have to make the decision if the couple can’t reach common ground. 

It’s not uncommon for one spouse to try to hide assets that would otherwise be distributed between both parties in order to avoid them being liquidated or awarded to the other spouse.  Following the divorce, the spouse that hid the asset usually tries to keep it. Here’s how to get legal help during a divorce, especially if you think your spouse may be concealing assets.

How Assets May Be Concealed 

A spouse may decide that they want to hide certain assets from the court to keep their ex from getting a fair share or to have more financial stability after the divorce is over. They may attempt to: 

  • Arrange to pay someone back for a fake debt or services that were never rendered, and the person agrees to give that money back to the spouse once the marriage has been dissolved. 
  • Obtain money orders or bank-issued traveler’s checks with joint funds, which are hidden during the divorce and cashed when it’s finalized. 
  • Have a separate bank or retirement account that their spouse doesn’t know about  
  • See if their employer will dock their pay or withhold raises or bonuses to make their income appear lower than it will be following the divorce 

Preventing Your Spouse From Being Able to Hide Assets 

You can take several steps to help safeguard your equitable share of marital funds before you even formally file for divorce in New York. You should start collecting copies of financial documents, like several years of pay stubs from both spouses, tax return documents, and checking or savings account statements. You should also have a bank account in your name only to keep your share of assets in.

Get Help Finding Concealed Assets 

Finding hidden funds in a divorce without the advice or guidance of professionals is unlikely to be successful. For example, your family law attorney may be able to submit a motion mandating that each spouse provide the court with certain important financial information. Often, this reveals assets that were concealed. 

Why It’s Critical to Get a Brooklyn, NY Divorce Attorney Involved   

If your spouse is hiding joint assets, your post-divorce future is on the line. Protect it with the help of an experienced Brooklyn divorce lawyer. Call Mary Katherine Brown today at (718) 878-6886. 

Posted in : Divorce ,

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