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Most Long Islanders would like to believe that their spouses are open and honest with them when it comes to assets, yet as an experienced divorce lawyer on Long Island, I have found that this is not always the case when divorce is on the line.

Pay Close Attention to Your Assets

Especially for those considering or involved in divorce, it is important to pay close attention to your existing assets. It is surprisingly common for a spouse to be hiding assets from the other in attempt to cushion themselves from the financial impact of the divorce. Because property acquired during a marriage in New York is considered marital property, with some exceptions (such as a gift or inheritance given specifically to one spouse), it is subject to equitable distribution under New York law. This means that assets will be divided between the two spouses in a way that the court sees as fair and equitable. As a result, some dishonest spouses feel compelled to attempt to hide money or property in order to avoid sharing with their soon-to-be former spouse.

Specifically for clients with complex finances that contain various investments, retirement plans, businesses, stock options, and other assets, it can become onerous to keep track of all the moving parts. In these cases particularly, it becomes more appealing to try to hide assets, and more difficult to find them. The following are some of the ways your soon-to-be ex spouse could be hiding assets from you.

How Your STBX May Try to Hide Assets

Getting Paid in Cash

Income that your spouse receives “under the table” that is not revealed to the court is a hidden asset that can get them into trouble. One way to catch spouses in the act when they are getting paid in cash and failing to report the income on their financial disclosure, is to notice whether they are paying more in bills than they are reporting in income. An experienced divorce attorney or forensic accountant can help you to identify whether your ex has this troubling habit and if it can be proven in court. Further, your ex can face harsh tax consequences for deceiving the IRS, and the court will not hesitate to report this behavior.

Giving Money to Family or Friends to Hold

One way a sneaky spouse might try to move assets out of sight is to collude with family and/or friends to move some of the money a little bit at a time, and have them hold the money for you in safekeeping. Make note of any suspicious transactions and inquire further if there are significant amounts of money involved or if you notice a suspicious pattern.

Writing Checks and Voiding them Later

Some spouses have been known to write checks out of their accounts that do not appear suspicious, but are never cashed because they were never given to the “payable to” and can be voided later. This might be hard to notice, but question any patterns that you find on bank statements. One thing to look out for, if your spouse is an employer, is that he may be writing checks to fake employees who never cash them. The money could come out of the account, but the checks can be voided at a later date once the divorce is finalized.

Hiding Money Is Illegal

It is important to understand that, not only is hiding assets from your spouse and divorce dishonest, it is illegal. In a divorce proceeding in New York, parties (spouses) are required to submit statements about their assets, debts, and income, which must be sworn to under oath. Lying or failing to disclose assets on this sworn statement to the court could result in consequences for you if the assets are discovered by your spouse, his or her attorney, or a forensic accountant who may become involved if your statement is questioned. Keep in mind that jeopardizing your case by hiding assets may cost you far more in litigation expenses than simply disclosing the asset in the first place.

Suspect Your Spouse is Hiding Assets?
Contact an Experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney

If you are involved in a Long Island divorce and you suspect that your spouse might be hiding assets from you, it is essential that you speak to a trusted Long Island divorce attorney so that you can learn your rights and feel confident that you are protected in your divorce. The Divorce Law Office of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. offers free consultations and can guide you through the challenge process of divorce on Long Island. Contact our office today at 631-923-1910 to schedule your free consultation and receive advice from a respected and experienced divorce professional.

For more information about Property Division in your divorce, visit our Complete Guide to Dividing Property in Divorce.


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Robert Hornberger and Christine Verbitsky

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Anastasia R
Anastasia R
22:45 17 Dec 20
I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first call.
Sam Berg
Sam Berg
15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his office.


  • I have known Robert for more than 8 eight years. Robert has represented many of my family and friends. Each and every one has raved about Robert’s professionalism and expertise. He is knowledgable, friendly and truly cares about his clients. I would not hesitate to continue to refer Robert and his firm in the future!
  • I’ve known Robert for most of my life, and feel very fortunate that I have been able to turn to a good friend for various kinds of legal advice. He is very intelligent, straight forward, and professional. Most importantly though, Robert always finds the fastest resolution, and will not waste your time or money. He is NOT in the habit of dragging things through litigation if there is no need for the added expense. I have referred a few of my friends to Robert, and they have all been more than satisfied in their experience with him. Highly recommend!!



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