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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Husband argues he is not required to identify assets in divorce

The division of marital property is often a contentious issue for Tennessee couples who are going through a divorce. Before assets can be divided, however, they must be identified. One man in New York believes that it is not his responsibility, however.

The couple began divorce proceedings in 2008. The wife contended that property the man owned in Brooklyn should be part of the marital estate. The husband contended, however, that he had already been granted a Lebanese divorce and, therefore, the New York property division law was not applicable. The man sold the Brooklyn property in 2009 and made a $776,000 profit, but when the court ordered him the next year to deposit the proceeds into escrow, he said he no longer had the money. His lawyer claimed that there was no order in place when he sold the property. The wife's lawyer contends that the man has transferred two other properties and withheld the proceeds as well.

The man has argued that he is not required to take the stand and it is not his responsibility to prove whether he has money. The Court of Appeals will likely rule on the case in October. The outcome is uncertain, but one judge did state during the hearing that the man is trying to make a joke out of the court system.

While most property settlement negotiations are not this complicated, they can often create rifts between estranged spouses, especially regarding items that may have some sentimental value or that are difficult to place a dollar amount on. A person in this situation may want to obtain the assistance of a family law attorney.

Source: ABC News online, "Divorcing Husband Urges NY Court to Accept Silence on Money," Michael Virtanen, Sept. 10, 2015

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