When your spouse hides Assets
The proverbial “hiding of assets” is a big problem in many divorce cases, which is why we have written about this issue so much on this website.
One of the main steps in a New York Divorce is what’s called discovery–taking stock of what each party owns, including finances. Both sides have a right to see the networth statement of the other, bank statements, checkwriting history, mortgage applications, lines of credit applications, everything. This is supposed to prevent spouses from hiding assets. But it hardly is ever enough to control individuals bent on cheating their spouse.
Each side has a right to full disclosure. If the other side is not voluntarily disclosing these documents, then each side has the right to subpoena the documents from that spouse, or from any third party such as the bank, loan officer, or even the opposing counsel.
It gets a bit tricky when you’re talking about assets that are in foreign havens or shelters. It can be incredibly difficult to trace assets outside of the jurisdiction of the United States. And that does happen where one party, in anticipation of a divorce, removes assets and thus divests the courts of jurisdiction over them.
That is why preemption is important. If you are going to get divorced, try to be first in getting a divorce attorney in New York and making sure that you get a pendente lite order which basically stops both parties from removing any of the marital assets till after the judgment is signed.
More on hiding assets can be found here