One of the biggest tasks any divorcing couple must complete is dividing the marital estate. This involves divvying up jointly owned assets and debts. According to the New Jersey Courts, divorcing spouses in the Garden State typically do so equitably. Equitable distribution ensures both spouses receive a fair share, even if they do not wind up with precisely half.
If your spouse wants an unfair advantage, he or she might try to hide assets from you and the court until after your divorce becomes final. This tactic is extremely risky, though, as it makes a person vulnerable to significant penalties.
Violating court rules
Even if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have an agreement about property division, each of you must file financial disclosures with the court. The court takes these disclosures seriously. If your spouse makes omissions, misstatements or outright lies, he or she might encounter consequences for violating court rules. Contempt of court is a common one.
Losing the hidden asset or its value
You and your attorney should closely scrutinize both your marital finances and your spouse’s financial disclosures. If there are any discrepancies, you can bring them to the court’s attention. Because New Jersey judges do not tend to appreciate rulebreaking, the court might either award the hidden asset to you or give you its monetary value.
Committing certain crimes
How far is your soon-to-be ex willing to go to cheat you during your divorce? If he or she uses fraud, perjury or some other type of criminal conduct to deceive you, a prosecutor could file charges.
Ultimately, because of the harsh penalties for hiding assets during a divorce, your husband or wife would be wise to be forthcoming about all marital assets.