Leading up to New Jersey divorce proceedings, spouses no doubt have a lot of things on their minds. If they are parents, it’s understandable that they want to focus on the well-being of their children, resolving any outstanding issues as swiftly and amicably as possible. Property division is another primary concern, for sure, especially since many child custody issues intersect with this topic.
New Jersey is an equitable division state, which means the court will divide assets with a fair split between spouses. If one suspects that the other is trying to gain the upper hand in proceedings by not fully disclosing financial information or by hiding assets, it pays to take proactive steps to immediately investigate the issue because hiding assets in divorce proceedings is illegal.
There are several common tricks a spouse might use if attempting a hidden asset scheme, such as opening a safety deposit box to hold hidden cash, overpaying in taxes or on a credit card balance or asking an employer to delay a commission or bonus pay. A spouse might also add his or her name to a new bank account opened for a minor or purchase expensive artwork or other items while understating their value to the court. One spouse shouldn’t have to police the other to make sure he or she is adhering to the rules during divorce proceedings. Equitable property division can’t work the way it’s supposed to if one party to the proceedings isn’t being honest.
The most logical first step to take if a concerned spouse suspects that something is awry regarding the other spouse’s financial activity leading up to property division proceedings is to ask about the issues of concern. If suspicions remain after talking to the spouse, it’s a good idea to further investigate the situation. Many people enlist support from private investigators to help them uncover hidden assets. An experienced family law attorney can also provide strong support in such circumstances.