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Stop a spouse from hiding assets in divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2023 | Divorce

Financial infidelity is a big problem in many high-net-worth marriages. Sometimes these problems spill right over into a New York courtroom if a couple decides to divorce. Financial deceit during divorce proceedings typically comes in the form of hidden assets.  

It’s nice to want to think the best of a soon-to-be ex-spouse. However, it won’t be so nice down the line to get the short end of the stick in property division proceedings because of a hidden asset scheme. It’s best to investigate further when suspicions arise regarding assets.  

Issues that suggest a spouse is hiding assets  

New York laws require full disclosure regarding assets and liabilities in a divorce. Nevertheless, there are numerous situations that could raise concerns about a possible hidden asset scheme:  

  • Has a spouse been moving money around, withdrawing funds from a joint account without the other spouse’s knowledge and depositing them into a privately owned account? 
  • Are luxury items missing from the home or a safe-deposit vault, such as pieces from an art or jewelry collection? 
  • If the couple owns a business, have new names been added to the payroll, especially if the spouse concerned hasn’t met any new employees? 
  • Has a spouse given a large sum of money to a third party, claiming that it is a loan or repayment for a debt that was owed? 
  • Does one spouse suspect the other of having an affair? 

Even one of the issues might mean that a spouse is trying to stash cash or hide assets before property division proceedings begin in a divorce. If more than one issue is relevant, it would be wise to further investigate the situation.  

What will a judge do about a hidden asset scheme? 

The New York judge overseeing a divorce will undoubtedly not look favorably on a spouse who is hiding assets. This is unacceptable behavior because it is a form of perjury, and perhaps outright fraud. If the court determines that a spouse has disregarded disclosure requirements, the judge might hold the individual in contempt of court and consider awarding all or most of the hidden asset to the other spouse. 


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