When the court legally dissolves a marriage in New Jersey, the equitable distribution of marital assets is a key part of the process. As it suggests, equitable distribution means that all the property acquired during the marriage gets divided fairly between the spouses.
Unfortunately, some spouses may attempt to hide assets to manipulate the outcome in their favor and ensure that the assets are not fairly distributed.
Concealing financial information
When it comes to hiding assets, some spouses employ tactics to conceal financial information. A common tactic involves intentionally underreporting income or delaying payments from business ventures or investments. This deceptive practice aims to artificially lower the value of the marital estate.
Spouses may also attempt to hide assets by transferring funds to offshore bank accounts or establishing shell companies, which makes it challenging to trace and identify hidden assets.
Some spouses will also engage in reckless spending or deliberately dissipate assets to reduce their value. This can include making extravagant purchases, gambling excessively or diverting funds to undisclosed accounts.
Manipulating asset valuation
Another strategy employed by spouses to hide assets involves manipulating the valuation of marital property:
Undervaluing assets: One way to conceal assets is to undervalue them during the divorce process. This can involve underestimating the worth of real estate, businesses, investments or other valuable assets.
Overstating debts and liabilities: Spouses may exaggerate debts or liabilities, either by inflating them or creating false obligations. This tactic can offset the perceived value of assets, potentially affecting the division of property.
Transferring assets to third parties: A spouse can transfer assets to family members, close friends or business associates to keep them out of reach during the divorce. They may also disguise these transfers as legitimate transactions or gifts.
Seeking professional assistance from experienced divorce professionals, such as forensic accountants or divorce financial analysts, can help uncover hidden assets and ensure a fair distribution. Being aware of these tactics empowers individuals to safeguard their rights and finances throughout the divorce process, promoting fairness and transparency in the division of marital property.