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Honesty is the best policy in divorce

For some people, lies and deceit are second nature. Many New Jersey residents will have dealt with such individuals at one time or another, and an unlucky few may be married to such an individual. It may not be inevitable, but there is a very strong possibility that such a marriage will end in divorce. For one man whose marriage was in trouble, involving his brother in his deceit caused problems in his brother's marriage too.

At some point in the last few years, the man and his brother lost a member of their family who lived abroad. The terms of that person's will divided the estate equally among the surviving family. One man's marriage was in difficulty at the time, and he persuaded his brother to allow the share belonging to him to be transferred under the brother's name, in order to hide the asset from his wife in case of divorce. This created tension in the marriage of the man who accepted the funds on his brother's behalf, as his wife was concerned not only about the ethical aspect, but also the potential financial consequences.

Last year, the man's inheritance was still in his brother's name, and the brother's wife apparently became increasingly concerned about this. They were soon to begin applying for college scholarships for their daughter, and she did not want her brother-in-law's money showing up on their tax returns, which would affect the outcome of the scholarship applications. All of this was avoidable from the outset, as an inheritance would not be considered marital property unless it was either left to a couple jointly, or was somehow commingled with marital assets.

An attempt to hide assets during a marriage might call into question what else that individual may have concealed. If any New Jersey resident has concerns that his or her spouse may have engaged in such behavior, there are ways in which this may be investigated. A consultation with a savvy divorce attorney is a good place to start.

Source:, "My brother-in-law asked my husband to hide a six-figure inheritance before his divorce", Quentin Fottrell, Sept. 27, 2017

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  • Best Readers Choice Awards Of Essex | 2018
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Melissa Cipriano: Honored as a "Best of New Jersey Among our Most Distinguished Americans of Italian Descent" and conferred the "Stivale D'Italia Award of Excellence" by the Italian Tribune for her "honesty, integrity and dedication to fair and ethical business practices" and her "outstanding reputation as a Woman Whose Word is Her Bond".

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