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When the stakes are high, accusations can fly in NJ divorces

By Sarah Jacobs, Esq.

There is no denying the fact that divorce can be a bitter, contentious process for any couple. By the time two people want to end a marriage, the relationship has already been damaged beyond repair and spouses can be flooded with emotions of anger, resentment and sadness.

In these situations, it is not unusual for one or both spouses to lash out and try to damage the credibility, reputation and capabilities of a soon-to-be ex by making negative accusations in court and in public. This can be especially tempting for people involved in high-asset divorces when financial security is on the line.

One recent news story is just the latest example of how money and power can add fuel to the fire when a couple divorces. A high-powered couple is going through a bitter divorce and there is a lot at stake: the husband makes roughly $7 million every year as a banker and the couple has two children. Since filing for divorce, there have been tawdry allegations made about drug use, illicit relationships and bad parenting, all of which have been made public.

These kinds of accusations can be hurtful, but they do not always accomplish what the accuser intends. In the interest of getting more money or causing more harm to a powerful person’s reputation, some people will make false or embellished claims. When these allegations are proven to be inaccurate, the accuser’s motives and decision-making skills could be called into question. Also, the tarnishing of the accused’s reputation could create problems in his/her career and actually reduce his/her income, thus affecting the financial security of the entire family.

However, it can be essential for legitimate claims of harmful behaviors and patterns to be addressed in court when a couple is divorcing. Reports of domestic abuse, alcoholism and infidelity often have an impact on how a judge determines child custody, not to mention spousal support and property division which can be a matter of millions of dollars in high-asset divorces.

Divorcing spouses can have a very difficult time understanding when and if they should discuss certain issues with an ex during a divorce. Doing so at the wrong time or without being completely truthful could have costly consequences. Rather than try to navigate this complicated, dramatic and high-pressure situation alone, spouses who are or will be involved in a high-asset divorce would be wise to consult an attorney in order to develop a plan and get the support they need.

Source: Business Insider, “Banker’s Wife Alleges Drug Abuse And Extramarital Sex With High-Powered Business Associates In Divorce Documents,” Julia La Roche, Oct. 29, 2014

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