When a couple divorces in New Jersey, splitting assets is inevitable. Ideally, each person will get their fair share. However, before divorcing, some spouses attempt to hide assets. No matter what their reasons might be, hiding assets isn’t a good idea. It can have severe consequences during a divorce proceeding.
Why a spouse might hide assets
If spouses don’t like and trust each other, the likelihood of one or both trying to conceal assets goes up. Sometimes, a spouse attempts to hide assets because they believe the other party doesn’t deserve access to them. The legal system, however, doesn’t treat such efforts favorably when it comes to property division.
Some spouses hide assets to protect themselves financially, but that can backfire. The best way to protect oneself is to disclose all assets and work from there.
Indications of hidden assets
Spouses who conceal assets often try to disguise their activities. Fortunately, there are several clues you can look for.
Tax returns are the first place to check. They might include information you can’t find elsewhere. Though many people are willing to lie to a soon-to-be-ex, fewer people want to risk lying to the IRS. You’ll want to examine the following:
- Itemized deductions
- Interest and dividends
- Profit or loss from business
- Capital gains and losses
- Supplemental income and loss
The numbers could be revealing. You might find signs of an unfamiliar property or notice an asset’s mysterious absence.
Of course, those clues aren’t enough to completely determine the presence or lack of hidden assets. If you’re concerned that your spouse might be engaging in sleight of hand to conceal assets, you may benefit from working with an attorney who has experience in divorce law.