Finding Hidden Income and Assets

Law Office of Seth D. Schraier, P.C.

In a contested divorce in New York State, the court must divide the couple's marital property – assets and property accumulated during the marriage – justly and equitably between both parties. However, to avoid sharing certain assets in the divorce, some devious spouses may try to hide their income and property from their soon-to-be ex-partner. Thankfully, a spouse who suspects their partner of financial infidelity may be able to uncover the truth by demanding an inspection, investigating personal and business transactions, or seeking other legal methods. 

At the Law Office of Seth D. Schraier, P.C., I'm committed to offering comprehensive guidance and advocacy to clients in the legal matters of divorce and asset division. As an experienced New York State family law attorney, I can conduct a thorough investigation, enlighten you about the divorce discovery process, and help unearth any hidden income and property. My firm proudly serves clients across New York City, including Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx. 

Division of Assets in New York 

New York is an equitable distribution state. This means that marital property must be divided equitably and fairly between the divorcing spouses. In order to achieve equitable distribution of assets, the court will consider the following factors: 

  • The duration of the marriage 

  • Each spouse's income and property at the time of the marriage and divorce 

  • The need for a custodial parent to receive the marital home and its contents 

  • Each spouse's health, age, income, and potential earnings 

  • The future financial circumstances and property of each spouse 

  • The contributions of either spouse as the homemaker 

  • Whether either spouse receives spousal maintenance (alimony) in the divorce 

  • Any other factor deemed necessary to achieve equitable property distribution 

A seasoned New York State divorce attorney can carefully investigate whether your estranged spouse is hiding income or assets and walk you through the property distribution process. 

Commonly Hidden Assets or Income 

Some of the most common assets that are usually hidden before or during a divorce are listed below: 

  • Cash 

  • Real estate property 

  • Pension plans 

  • Bank accounts 

  • Stocks and bonds 

  • Retirement funds 

  • Life insurance with cash value 

  • Extra income received from investments, rentals, artistic works, or royalties 

A knowledgeable lawyer can work meticulously to unearth any hidden assets and finances and help recover what is rightfully yours. 

Uncovering the Truth 

Under New York divorce laws, couples involved in a marital dissolution are prohibited from hiding property, assets, and finances before or during a divorce. If you suspect your estranged partner of financial infidelity – or believe that your spouse has hidden their income or assets away from you – you should get in touch with a practiced property division attorney straightaway. 

Additionally, your lawyer can collaborate with a tax professional or experienced forensic accountant to review and investigate the following: 

  • All personal and business transactions 

  • Complete statements for all of your financial accounts 

  • Business income 

  • Joint income tax returns 

  • Any personal or business loans acquired recently 

However, when trying to uncover hidden assets, you should only look into areas to which you have legal access. Your attorney can educate you about how to investigate your soon-to-be ex-spouse for financial infidelity using the divorce discovery process. 

The Divorce Discovery Process 

Divorce discovery is an important legal tool that is usually used by divorcing couples to unearth hidden assets and income in a divorce. Depending on your specific situation, you may employ any of the following divorce discovery methods: 

Demand an Inspection – You can petition a court order to inspect or search any property, possession, or site owned by your estranged partner. These include safe deposit boxes, vacation homes, wine collections, warehouses, and offices. 

Request for Financial Documents – Also, your legal counsel can acquire relevant information and required documentation, or request certain financial documents from your spouse. These include income tax returns, loan applications, bank statements, and financial documents. 

Give Testimony Under Oath – Alternatively, you can call upon your estranged spouse to give testimony under oath or answer any question asked by your attorney. During the oral deposition, your spouse is bound by law to speak only the truth. Lying on the stand under oath (perjury) is a serious offense. 

Ask for Answers to Written Questions – In addition, you can ask your estranged partner to answer written questions known as "interrogatories" or "requests for admission." This requires your partner to answer the questions in writing or admit to some accusations that are possibly true. 

An experienced attorney can walk you through every phase of the divorce discovery process and craft a strategic plan to investigate account statements, financial documents, and other records. 

Dependable Legal Assistance 

Hiding assets and finances during a divorce is unethical and can make the division of property challenging. To achieve a fair settlement agreement, you must first uncover all hidden income and property. At the Law Office of Seth D. Schraier, P.C., I'm dedicated to offering experienced legal services and protecting divorcing couples from financial infidelity. 

As your legal counsel, I can guide you through the divorce discovery process and work diligently to unearth any hidden property, income, assets, and finances. In addition, I will fight vigorously for your legal rights and help you recover what rightfully belongs to you. 

Contact me at the Law Office of Seth D. Schraier, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation with a trusted family law attorney. I can offer you the personalized legal counsel and trusted advocacy you need in your divorce matters. My firm proudly serves clients across New York City, including Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx.