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What a spouse's unusual financial moves might mean

Some New Jersey residents may be alerted to the possibility that their spouse is planning to file for divorce by that person's financial actions. For example, one man's wife suddenly decided to put a significant amount of money into a certificate of deposit that only had her name on it. This was money the couple had made on the sale of their home. In addition to the $90,000 from the home, the woman added a $40,000 payout she received after a job loss. The man asked his wife to either add his name to the account or return the amount to their joint accounts, but she did not.

There could be other explanations for this including that the man is irresponsible with money. However, a person who notices a spouse's unusual financial activity, such as moving money into an individual account, might want to take a few steps for financial protection. One is documenting communications. The person may also want to talk to an attorney. It may be necessary to talk to the bank about how the spouse's accounts might be frozen and the money retrieved.

It is unlikely that the sum would be considered strictly the wife's property in a divorce even though New Jersey is not a community property state. The money was from an asset owned by both, so it probably belongs to both.

In a high-asset divorce, one spouse might take a number of steps to try to hide or protect property. Some people may attempt to conceal assets in a variety of ways such as offshore accounts or simply by failing to report bonuses and other sources of money outside of regular income. When this happens, the attorney representing the defrauded party will certainly want to bring it to the court's attention.

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