Sadly, divorce often involves lies and deception. Although the parties in a New York divorce action are obligated to make full and complete disclosures of their assets and liabilities, it is not uncommon for one spouse to attempt to hide marital property. By hiding assets, one of the parties may attempt to keep those assets from being equitably distributed and reduce the amount of support and maintenance they would otherwise be required to pay.
Concealing assets is an art form. The most talented artists can use their skills to make assets virtually invisible to their spouse and even their spouse’s lawyers. That is why it is so crucial to retain a divorce lawyer who has significant experience discovering hidden or undervalued assets. A good divorce lawyer will know the tricks used to hide assets and work with forensic accountants, investigators, and other experts to uncover these attempts to game the system.
Seven of the more common ways that a spouse will attempt to conceal assets include:
- transferring money from a joint account to an individual one;
- putting assets into a family trust, offshore corporation or shell corporation;
- purchasing art, collectibles or other items that retain value but are not liquid;
- purchasing insurance policies, cashier’s checks and savings bonds.
- colluding with an employer to delay bonuses, stock options, or raises until a time when the asset or income would be considered separate property.
- Skimming or diverting funds from a business
- Failing to report income on tax returns
The greater the amount of a couple’s assets, the more sophisticated the efforts at concealment can become. In New York high net-worth divorces, the schemes put in place to hide assets can take an entire team of committed professionals to unravel. At Clement Law, we have the experience, resources, and determination to uncover even the most sophisticated ruses used to deprive our clients of assets that are rightfully theirs.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your spouse’s concealment of assets or any other matters relating to divorce in New York or New Jersey, please give attorney Daniel Clement of Clement Law a call at (212) 683-9551 or fill out our online form to arrange for a consultation. We look forward to assisting you.