The Law Office of Rajeh A Saadeh LLC
Serving All Of New Jersey
Powerful Advocacy | Client-Focused Solutions
Call Now

Sophisticated Counsel. Smart Strategies.

Minimizing the potential of hidden assets during your divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2024 | Divorce

Proceeding through the process of ending your marriage can present a certain amount of challenges and complexities. This can especially be true if you and your soon-to-be ex are dealing with a high-asset divorce. Unfortunately, there are far too many instances where one spouse fails to disclose all of his or her assets in an attempt to protect them from becoming subject to the division of marital property.

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that a court has the discretion to divide all of the marital assets in a manner it deems as most fair. Since fair doesn’t necessary mean equal, this can create a higher degree of uncertainty in the overall amount of marital property to which you may be entitled. Thus, it can be even more crucial to ensure that you disclose all qualifying assets to the court.

What specific actions can you take to prevent hidden assets?

Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to minimize the chances of your spouse being able to hide assets from the divorce proceedings. First and foremost is to thoroughly review any voluntary disclosers of assets made by your partner in case there are any omissions that should also be included in the marital property. Some of the most common undisclosed assets include the following:

  • Offshore bank accounts
  • Real estate or vehicles purchased with minimal to no paper trail
  • Stock options
  • Artwork
  • Jewelry

Beyond just carefully looking for any hidden assets, it can also be critical to carefully evaluate the proposed valuations of all the disclosures. In the event of a disputed value, you retain the right to have an outside party formally appraise or inspect any specific property or asset.

Requesting the involuntary disclosure of particular assets

One way to ensure your soon-to-be ex provides financial information for certain assets that could otherwise remain undisclosed is through the use of interrogatories. These are formal requests for detailed information, and the party on the receiving end of any interrogatory is legally obligated to provide factually accurate answers within a set time period. Beyond just providing you with answers to many of your questions and concerns regarding your partner’s asset disclosure, you can also use interrogatories to formally request access to any of the following and more:

  • Banking records and account statements
  • Estate planning documents
  • 401(k) and other retirement account documentation
  • Tax filings and returns
  • Savings and money market account statements

There are a myriad of other means that can potentially help discover proof your soon-to-be ex isn’t disclosing all of his or her assets during your divorce proceedings. Hiring a private investigator, using a deposition that can force your partner into providing sworn testimony before the court, and even some relatively simple online searches for information and evidence could all prove invaluable. No matter the uniqueness of your circumstances, an experienced family law attorney can carefully guide you through these challenges, significantly increasing your odds of achieving the best divorce settlement possible.