Divorce is a challenging time for anyone, even under the best of circumstances. Assets division in divorce is one of the critical aspects that will have a lasting impact on your future financial life. You may have certain marital assets, which your spouse is not aware of because you’re not sure about your marriage’s future.
It is a natural human instinct to feel a sense of ownership toward those assets, especially if you believe you alone contributed to building them during the marriage or owned them before the relationship. In the absence of sound legal advice, you might try to hide those assets in a divorce, but this is a bad idea regardless of the value of those assets. The other party may invest in a forensic investigation to trace them, and this could create more substantial issues for you. This article will dive further into this topic and help you determine what to do if you are retaining hidden assets in a divorce.
Divorce and Asset Division
First and foremost, an experienced New York divorce attorney is essential, as they will provide you with the right guidance about potential legal consequences associated with hidden assets in a divorce. Spouses in New York have a fiduciary duty toward each other during the divorce process fully disclose their assets. This disclosure is the only way to ensure an “equitable distribution” of the marital assets and liabilities in a divorce. A fiduciary duty exists in the area of discovery and disclosure, which means each spouse is legally bound to report all their assets, including cash, business assets, real estate, investments, retirement funds, stock options, offshore accounts, jewelry, or any other valuable possessions, such as antiques or an art collection.
Protecting Your Rightful Assets in a Divorce
High net worth assets require more protection during property division. “Equitable division” of assets in New York is not the same as equal division. It only means a fair division. For instance, if you started a business before marriage, the goodwill, intellectual property, and other valuable business assets are subject to division after taking into account your contributions before marriage.
Similarly, if you earned stock options from your company as a performance reward for work done before marriage, your lawyer will incorporate this information when discussing asset division. The same principle of equitable distribution will also apply to other marital assets such as your house and real estate.
Legal Consequences of Hidden Assets in Divorce
A dedicated New York divorce attorney will counsel you about the potential consequences of financial misrepresentation at the time of assets division in divorce. It could result in severe penalties, including criminal charges. Intentionally falsifying divorce papers about your finances is equivalent to lying in court. Even if the hidden assets come to light after the divorce is final, the other party may file a motion to vacate the judgment or even bring charges of contempt of court against you.
However, even in an extreme situation, if you have a skilled divorce attorney on your side, they will establish the complex financial matters involved in your case. The court may show leniency if your attorney can prove an inadvertent error of omission or accidental miscalculation, instead of the intent to hide assets.
Handle Your Hidden Assets With Brian D. Perskin & Associates
Are you retaining hidden assets or considering trying to keep hidden assets during a divorce? Enlist the services of an experienced and professional family law attorney to represent your financial interests and defend you from any penalties or charges. Brian D. Perskin & Associates employs an expert team of attorneys who are knowledgeable in hidden assets and will fight tirelessly to ensure you don’t suffer financially or legally. Call us today at 877-826-7257 or fill out this online form for a free case review.