The Divorce Poor Strategy
In a recent Opinion of the Appellate Division, the court commented that the Husband had attempted to make himself “divorce poor” by cashing out his life insurance policy after the Complaint for Divorce was filed, hiding businesses and assets, and claiming that he had no access to a trust. The Husband also refused throughout the process to provide any documentation or proof of his income and assets (“discovery”), which led to the matter proceeding in default. The judge still granted alimony and equitable distribution to the Wife, based upon the Wife’s information and the judge’s analysis of the marital lifestyle. Sadly, it is not uncommon for a party to a divorce to suddenly claim that they do have no significant income or assets, leading to frustration from the other party. However, this is not a successful strategy, and, as in this matter, may severely prejudice your case. If the Court does not have sufficient information from you, they will have to rely on the other party’s proof and evidence. Judges can see through a party who is attempting to hide or lie about their financial situation. A party who attempts to hide assets and lie about their income will often do themselves a disservice, as the divorce litigation will become costly and drag on. Therefore, it is in both parties’ best interest to act with integrity and honesty throughout the process.