If you’re a man who is or may be going through a contentious divorce in New Jersey, you should prepare yourself for the possibility that your spouse may be attempting to hide assets. If your spouse happens to be the higher earner in the marriage or is in control of all the finances, this may not be a stretch. While it is illegal to have hidden assets, many spouses will still do everything in their power to get away with it – especially if they are a narcissist or have been diagnosed with another borderline personality disorder.
Here’s what you need to know about hidden assets, including warning signs to watch for and what to do once you’ve found evidence of your spouse’s misdeeds.
Common Warning Signs
Many spouses who choose to hide assets before or during a divorce think they can get ahead of their partner and cover their tracks. You’ll have to look out for warning signs to catch your spouse before they successfully hide your marital assets. If your spouse is behaving in certain ways, you may be able to see it coming.
Here are some of the traits with which narcissists and those with borderline personality disorders are often associated:
- Having a distorted and adversarial worldview (believing everything is a potential conflict or that everyone is against them)
- Making false statements
- Taking a black and white perspective (they’re right and you’re wrong, and there’s no room for middle ground)
- Deviation from normal social behaviors, and not necessarily in a bad way. Narcissists are often extremely charismatic to the point of standing out from the crowd. This is due to their calculated actions and manipulation of others.
- Strained or unusual relationships with other family members who know them well, such as parents and siblings. Narcissists often successfully manipulate friends and acquaintances, but the people closest to them may see through their tactics.
If you’ve identified any of these warning signs, speak with a high conflict divorce attorney in New Jersey right away. Each day that passes is another opportunity for your spouse to make changes to accounts and sell your assets.
Be On the Lookout for Inconsistencies
Many couples designate one person who is responsible for handling the finances, including the monthly budget, bills, retirement accounts, investments, and more. If you have reason to believe your spouse may begin hiding assets, I strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with all these accounts.
Make a point to review incoming mail for information about existing accounts and changes that may have been made recently. You may also see mail coming from new accounts you didn’t know about. This is crucial information that will allow you to subpoena these companies later on.
You can also review tax documents to determine your capital gains/losses for previous years. If assets have been sold as a loss, that may be an indicator that your spouse wanted to move money around to hide it from you during the divorce. Keep an eye on your listed interest and investment income, too. If you’re surprised by your listed income, your spouse may have made recent changes.
Uncovering Hidden Assets with A New Jersey Divorce Lawyer
When it comes to exposing your spouse’s misdeeds, your best shot is to remain involved in the handling of your bills and assets. As I previously mentioned, it is very common to see one spouse handling all the finances without any input from their partner. You want to avoid this at all costs.
Make copies of all financial documents you can access, including:
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements
- Credit reports
- Income tax returns
- Closing statements
- Investment statements
- Employment documents and paystubs
- Names of financial advisors and accountants
With the assistance of your men’s divorce attorney in New Jersey, you’ll need to ascertain the accurate value of all these assets. In some cases, it may be beneficial to bring in a valuation expert. This will give you a more precise estimate and is more likely to be accepted by the family law court.
If you and/or your spouse owns a cash business, has substantial cash assets, or has international assets, you face a significant challenge in proving their accurate value. You can’t work with just any divorce attorney; you must seek out an attorney who has experience with narcissists, hidden assets, and high conflict divorces in New Jersey.
Do you believe you are facing a high conflict divorce with hidden assets? The attorneys of The Micklin Law Group would be happy to help. Make sure you reach out to a legal team that has the resources, knowledge and experience to zealously protect and represent your interests. Reach our Nutley office at 973-562-0100, or give us a call at 862-245-4620 in Montclair.