Hidden Assets and Marital Property Attorneys Morris County, NJ
Serving Clients in Complex Divorce Proceedings and Protecting Marital Assets in Morristown, Mendham, Randolph, Parsippany and across North New Jersey
Going through a divorce can be an overwhelming and stressful process. It often forces a husband and wife to face the fact that their goal of “happily ever after” is not a reality, and in some circumstances that reality may feel more like a nightmare. More upsetting than the broken dream of marriage is the fact that finances become of paramount concern and fights tend to begin about assets and debts. People going through a divorce may become consumed with the thought of protecting what they believe are their assets alone, what they are entitled to, all in an attempt to maintain a lifestyle or level of financial security that they have grown accustomed to.
At Jacobs Berger our business is you, meaning that our clients’ needs are carefully addressed when preparing your case in a personal way to assist in building a life plan during and after the divorce is finalized. Property Division may be a conscious issue for divorcing couples. We are not only dealing with the division of assets and property but also debt, credit cards, and other divisible financials.
Our Morristown family law and divorce lawyers provide responsible and educated counsel built on our holistic approach and with the understanding that the conclusion of a divorce represents the beginning for our clients and not the end. Call us today at (973) 710-4366 for confidential case evaluation or fill out a contact form to coordinate and schedule an in person meeting.
Marital Assets in Morristown NJ Divorce Cases
A “marital asset” is a property that was earned or given to one or both spouses during the marriage. For example, if the wife is the sole earner and brings home a paycheck of $1000 per week and she deposits it into a bank account to pay bills such as the mortgage, the husband will still be entitled to the money in the bank account. The husband will also be entitled to a portion of the house in which they live, as this is considered joint property. Simply because a husband does not work and contributes nothing monetarily, does not mean he owns nothing and is not entitled to the property during the divorce. Marriage is a joint venture and the courts consider it such. One party cannot claim that an asset is any more his than hers simply because he earns more, because the other spouse does not work at all, or has earned less outside of the home.
Hiding Assets in a New Jersey Divorce
In many divorces, one party knows long before the other that divorce is imminent. The person desiring a divorce becomes concerned about marital assets and the potential loss of those assets through a divorce. The person thinks about their future, how he or she will pay for things, what was earned, and what is owed. Soon that person begins to hide marital assets with the hope that it remains undiscovered by the other party and will belong solely to them after the divorce. Marital assets or property are assets that belong to the parties and in most cases were acquired during the marriage or for the benefit of the parties. Neither party has the legal right to hide assets that would be considered joint assets in court.
The court subscribes to the theory that, in marriage, we accrue both debts and assets and the parties are jointly entitled to both. This means that a party cannot hide assets to protect them from distribution to the other party. If a husband knows that he is getting a divorce and he starts to hide bank accounts and money, he will be responsible to pay that back if it is discovered. Hiding assets can happen in limitless ways and every spouse should pay careful attention to the whereabouts of assets.
Hiding Funds in a Private/Personal Bank Account
One way in which people hide money is by removing money from bank accounts and placing the money in an unknown location. Maybe your husband always handled the finances and you were therefore unaware as to what was in the bank accounts at any given time. Perhaps your husband took advantage of this, began making withdrawals and hiding the money in other accounts, or perhaps it was hidden in a safe somewhere. The hiding of joint marital assets is impermissible and you are entitled to your share both during and after divorce.
Selling High Value Assets and Shared Property
In some cases, assets are hidden in plain sight. Your spouse may sell an item for less than its value or to a friend for a lesser amount. In keeping with devaluing an object, your spouse may hide information about the true value of an asset or he may remove the item from the home and feign ignorance as to its whereabouts. You do not have to sit idly as your shared property is taken from you,
Protecting Your Assets Via Subpoena and Discovery Requests
Through your attorney, you can subpoena bank records, financial records, and make discovery demands about accounts and the locations of money. You can review the accounts and look for unusual withdrawals or inconsistencies that may reveal an issue. If hidden assets are discovered, you would be entitled to a portion of these assets.
Under New Jersey law, a spouse has no right to retain more than his or her equitable share in marital property. If you are in need of assistance with your divorce and protection of assets, call our office today to schedule an appointment.
Contact Our Dedicated Family Law and Divorce Attorneys to Protect Your Financial Future
If your decision is to handle property division outside of a court in a mediation process, or you are looking for experienced representation to litigate your divorce process, at Jacobs Berger we are ready to invest the time and energy necessary to protect your best interests. We build family life plans out of family law problems. To learn more about your options, call our firm at (973) 710-4366 or visit our contact page to fill out an online application.