New York courts will look at the split between marital and separate property first. The law defines separate property as any property that existed prior to the time of the marriage, as well as any property inherited or gifted. Marital property is defined as any property or assets that are either acquired or accrue active value during the time of the marriage. Both parties will need to identify what property and assets are at play as well as debts. The equitable distribution law also extends to debts that have accrued during the time of the marriage. There are many factors that can play into how assets are divided. Generally, assets are presumptively divided fifty-fifty (even more so in a medium or a long-term marriage.
What Are Considered Tangible Or Intangible Assets In A Divorce Case In New York?
In New York, the difference between a tangible and intangible asset is that a tangible asset is physical, like a vehicle or a house. Intangible assets would include money in the bank or investments. They could also include future interests in a business or a particular asset, such as future distribution of stocks.
What Is Considered A Hidden Asset In A Divorce Case?
A hidden asset would be anything that one party is trying to conceal from the other party. An example would be if one party took money out of a bank account and put it in their uncle’s bank account. This is not permitted. Unfortunately, some people see a divorce coming years before it is ever filed and they are able to move assets very slowly, which is harder to prove. One may then need to retain a forensic accountant to go through their expenses and then compare them to how much money they actually took out. It becomes a much more complex analysis. It is also necessary to weigh the cost of a forensic accountant against the value of the assets in question.
Do Hidden Assets In A High Asset Divorce Case Actually Need To Be Hidden Or Could This Also Refer To A Misrepresentation Of The Value Of An Asset Or Overstating Personal Debts?
Hidden assets don’t have to be literally hidden. In terms of overstating personal debts, one party can claim that their own separate debts are part of the marital debt. For example, if half of the stated debt is because one party chose to buy their new paramour an expensive diamond ring, the court will inevitably see that as their own separate purpose and remove that from the marital estate.
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