The Importance of Properly Disclosing Assets and Liabilities in a Divorce

The Importance of Properly Disclosing Assets and Liabilities in a Divorce

woman hand signing divorce papers sitting on a desk at home

Not disclosing financial information during a divorce can be very dangerous. If one party hides assets or fails to disclose important information, it can create an unfair situation. It can also lead to the loss of certain property rights. 

In some jurisdictions, not disclosing all financial information can result in criminal penalties. Therefore, it is always best to consult with a divorce attorney in Garden City to ensure that all relevant information is properly disclosed.

To-Do List: Disclosing Assets and Liabilities in a Divorce

Before and during a divorce, you must assemble a complete inventory of all of your assets and liabilities.  Without this information, your attorney will be unbale to give you the proper advice and guide you through the process.  Disclosing your assets and liabilities, and exchanging this information with your spouse’s attorney is the most critical aspect of the divorce process.  Here are some reasons why:

  • It is important to have full financial disclosure in divorce because it provides both parties with a clear understanding of the financial situation.
  • It allows both parties to negotiate a fair and equitable division of property.
  • Disclosing all assets and liabilities helps to ensure that the property settlement is final and cannot be contested later.
  • It can help to prevent one party from hiding assets or failing to disclose important information.
  • Not disclosing assets in divorce can result in severe penalties, including the possibility of losing certain property rights.

Dividing Assets During a Divorce

Once full disclosure is made and exchanged by both parties, they can be divided equitably and fairly if the parties are so inclined.  Only when one party refuses to disclose or distribute a “marital asset” should the parties engage in litigation.  In many cases, the family home is one of the biggest assets to be divided. In most cases, where young children are involved, the parent assuming primary custody of the children will remain in the family home until the youngest child enters college at age 18.  In a short-term childless marriage, the family home will be purchase by one party from the other, or sold to a third party. Other assets may include cars, savings and investment accounts, retirement accounts, personal belongings, and business interests.  Retirement benefits are waived by the non-titled souse in exchange for other assets (i.e., house for pension), or divided upon retirement. The most difficult asset to distribute is the titled spouse’s interest in a business.  Forensic experts must be hired in order to determine the value of the business.  The non-titled spouse’s share of said business will be determined by the length of the marriage, whether there were children involved, and the extent of contributions to the business. In rare cases will the non-titled spouse’s interest be 50%. 

The division of assets is often one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce, which is why it is important to have an experienced divorce lawyer in Garden City, NY, on your side.

Fass & Greenberg has experience handling all aspects of divorce, from asset and liability disclosure to property settlement negotiation. As Garden City divorce attorneys, we understand how emotionally and mentally draining the divorce process can be, which is why we are here to help our clients at every step. 

If you are going through a divorce, contact us today and let us help you with the divorce process, including properly disclosing your assets and liabilities and ensuring that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is 100% disclosing everything. 

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