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Divorcing Individuals Should Be Concerned with Hidden Assets in New York

— March 4, 2022

Hidden assets are a serious problem because they can greatly affect the balance of power in a divorce case.

New York, NY – The most lengthy and time consuming phase of a divorce tends to be property division. A judge will have to go through all of the property and assets owned by each member of the couple as well as jointly held assets, then decide what will happen to each item. This creates an obvious incentive for one or both members of the couple to try to hide certain things so that they can maintain ownership without being affected by this process. This is especially true in marriages that lasted several years or decades, or cases where the couple has a high net worth. 

An overview of how hidden asset issues work is helpful to anyone who is going through a divorce. Personalized legal advice is also recommended for those who feel that they may be dealing with these kinds of issues. 

Financial disclosures

As a threshold matter, divorces require complete financial disclosures for property division. This includes all sources of income, all real property interests, investments, trusts, and various other assets regardless of where or how they are held.  Spouses who attempt to withhold or hide information about their financial situation can face consequences from the courts, however there needs to be proof or evidence that a spouse has hidden assets before action can be taken. It can be difficult for a spouse to even know that hidden assets are a problem without first speaking to a professional who works in this field.   

Concerns about hidden assets

Image by Bench Accounting, via
Image by Bench Accounting, via

Hidden assets are a serious problem because they can greatly affect the balance of power in a divorce case, along with the final outcome as summarized in a settlement or decree. Things like alimony, child support, and the spouse’s financial situation following the end of the marriage are all at issue. These amounts can be reduced greatly if a spouse has significant financial interests held in accounts overseas or in other areas where they are not likely to be found without a formal hidden asset investigation. Some cases even include false financial and banking statements to try to throw off the other spouse or courts. During the stressful time at the end of a marriage, the spouse who is likely to be affected by hidden assets may not be in the state of mind to think about these issues on their own. 

More information about asset searches and divorces

There are attorneys in the New York city area who focus on asset searches, hidden assets, and all related matters for local clients. Fred L. Abrams, Attorney at Law is available to provide guidance to anyone who needs this kind of help.

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