If you have substantial assets it can be tempting to hide some away in a separate bank account when your marriage is ending. After all, you’ve worked hard for your money and you don’t want to end up with nothing after your divorce. However, the law clearly states that this action is prohibited. The courts are concerned with an equitable division of assets in a divorce, which means the judge must be aware of all assets and debts you and your wife have. Even pre-marital assets that aren’t up for grabs in your divorce must be disclosed.
Here’s why you shouldn’t risk hiding assets before or during your divorce in New Jersey.
Consequences of Hiding Assets
Family law courts take the principle of equitable division very seriously, so judges don’t take kindly to spouses hiding assets. During the discovery process, each spouse and their attorneys are required to disclose financial information that the other party will consider before formulating and requesting a specific settlement. Both parties will also acquire financial information from third parties, like banks, employers, and retirement plan administrators. You may be deposed during this time, which means you’ll need to provide accurate information under oath.
If you like during a deposition or at any point in the discovery phase, you may be subject to sanctions and could even be charged with perjury. In a worst case scenario, you will be charged with contempt of court for refusing to accurately describe all your assets. A criminal charge is the last thing you need when you’re already going through a tough time, so think long and hard before you decide to be dishonest about your assets.
The Risk Isn’t Worth the Reward
Some men decide they want to take the risk and attempt to hide assets from their spouse even though they may face legal repercussions if they are caught. As a high conflict divorce lawyer, I understand the desire to keep what’s yours – especially if you are divorcing a narcissist or your wife is making things difficult. I caution each of my clients to fight this urge because potential reward is never worth the risk of legal sanctions and the potential negative effect on your divorce settlement. I would much prefer my clients take the approach of aggressively fighting for an equitable distribution of their assets legally in mediation or in court.
When you hire a qualified family lawyer for men to help you through your divorce, he should Understand how your divorce is likely to go and help you prepare for possible compromises you must make. However, equitable does not mean your assets and possessions are split 50/50. Instead, the court aims to respect the contributions each spouse has made financially to the marriage. If you made significantly more money than your spouse while you were married you may be able to walk away with more assets when everything is said and done. Choosing the right attorney makes this the more likely outcome.
Divorce Attorney for Men in New Jersey
You deserve to retain the assets you’ve worked so hard for, even during your divorce. The Micklin Law Group’s NJ divorce lawyers understand that the family law courts have been biased toward women and mothers for many years. We’ll aggressively represent you and your interests in mediation – or in court – to ensure you walk away from your divorce with exactly what you deserve.