Where there is evidence of fraud or misconduct by a spouse in failing to disclose the true worth of his or her assets, relief such as vacating a judgment or order may be granted under New Jersey Court Rule 4:50-1(f) if the motion is made within a reasonable time. The moving party would need to prove by documentable evidence that the assets were marital assets subject to distribution and not known to the defrauded spouse. If a moving party prevails on proving that their former spouse has hidden assets, they may seek to be made whole, which may include having the offending spouse pay legal fees and costs as well as lost interest. The offending spouse may be subject to further sanctions by the court as well. The Court does not countenance willful misdeeds by litigants and takes its role very seriously. In appropriate cases, the Court may refer the matter to the prosecutor’s office for criminal investigation.
Michele E. D’Onofrio is a family law attorney practicing in Warren, New Jersey.