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August 6, 2021

How Do NJ Courts Handle a Spouse That Hides Assets or Secret Bank Accounts?

How Do NJ Courts Handle a Spouse That Hides Assets or Secret Bank Accounts?

Conflict about money is a common reason that couples divorce, and dishonesty is another bygone.  Put them together, and you have prefect storm for conflict.  If you find out that your spouse was hiding secret bank accounts or other assets from you during your marriage, the law is on your side to make the court divide those assets between you and your spouse in a divorce, as long as the court decides that these hidden assets are marital property.

Even if the hidden assets are your spouse’s separate property (meaning that the court does not have to divide them in a divorce), the fact that your spouse concealed assets from you during your marriage, while you were honest with your spouse about your income and purchases, will give the judge the impression that you are more credible than your spouse.  

It is also likely that the court will order your spouse to pay your attorneys’ fees.  If your marriage fell apart because your spouse hid assets from you and lied about their finances, contact a our office to discuss your options.

Dishonest Spouses Who Hide Assets from You and from the Court

Spouses have duty toward each other from the day they get married until a court equitably(fairly, but not always equally) divides the couple’s assets in a divorce.  The duty not to cause the other person financial losses intentionally or through negligence.  New Jersey family courts consider it a breach of that duty when your spouse hides assets from you; divorce courts sometimes also refer to this kind of behavior as marital misconduct.

These are just some of the ways that your spouse might conceal assets from you:

●     Not mentioning all of their separate assets in a prenuptial agreement

●     Opening a separate bank account and using a post office box or the address of one of their friends or relatives as the address

●     Titling houses, vehicles, or other valuable items of property in the names of his business partners, family members, or affair partner

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that all property must be divided fairly.  Your spouse’s hidden assets are marital property if they acquired them during the marriage, unless they inherited them from a family member.  

If the hidden assets fit the legal definition of marital property, the court will order your spouse to pay you your fair share of the value of the assets.  Even if the hidden assets are separate property, by hiding them, your spouse will show the court that your spouse is untrustworthy, which will make the court more likely to grant your requests regarding alimony, parenting time, and other requests you have made in your divorce petition.

 

Contact Our Office to learn Your Options

A trusted lawyer can help you persuade the court to grant the requests you have made in your divorce petition, especially if your spouse hid assets from you during your marriage.  Contact the Law Office of Judie Saunders in Red Bank, New Jersey to set up a free consultation.

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