One of the most important aspects of a prenuptial agreement is financial disclosure. This disclosure must be completed truthfully and accurately, or else serious consequences may ensue. Follow along to find out what happens if a prenuptial agreement’s financial disclosure is invalid and how one of the proficient New Jersey prenuptial agreement attorneys at Haber, Silver, Simpon & Russoniello can help you go about this.
What is financial disclosure in a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement’s financial disclosure is intended for you and your future spouse to reveal all of your assets. This is so that, in your agreement, you can state how all these assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. With that being said, you must disclose the following:
- Your net income, and its expected appreciation.
- Your assets, and their expected appreciation.
- Your debts and liabilities.
- Your expected inheritances.
What makes a prenuptial agreement’s financial disclosure invalid?
Say, for instance, that you and your spouse file for a divorce down the line. And if the New Jersey family court finds that either you or your spouse did not disclose critical financials in your prenuptial agreement, then they will consider it to be invalid.
With an invalid financial disclosure, your divorce will likely have to undergo litigation proceedings. The court will instead turn to state law when dividing your assets. And so, you and your spouse may not end up with the important assets that you intended to protect in your prenuptial agreement.
What if my spouse hid assets from our financial disclosure?
However, in a worst-case scenario, failure to fully disclose finances in a prenuptial agreement can be flagged as fraudulent activity. And so, if you believe that your spouse is hiding their assets in preparation for or during your divorce, then you must hire a forensic accountant. They will then take the following approach:
- They will hire a computer expert to explore files on your and your spouse’s jointly-owned computer.
- They will contact your spouse’s employer for 401k and stock account information.
- They will request your spouse to produce bank statements, records of all bank accounts, canceled checks, etc.
- They will request your spouse to produce credit card statements and loan statements.
- They will request your spouse to produce past income tax returns.
- They will search for accounts that no longer appear on current income tax returns or filings.
- They will search for inconsistencies in financial information.
And if it is confirmed that your spouse has been hiding assets, any of the following consequences may ensue:
- They may have to pay fines.
- They may have to spend time in jail or a term of imprisonment.
- They may have to pay for your legal bills.
- They may have to forfeit the entire value of their hidden assets.
- They may lose credibility in the eyes of the New Jersey family court as they make settlement decisions.
If you require guidance, contact a New Jersey prenuptial agreement attorney today.