What to do About Misconduct During the New York Divorce Process
Once New York divorce proceedings are underway, parties dealing with strong emotions can sometimes engage in conduct that they never would have dreamed of during the marriage. Many acts are simply out of spite and a wish to see the other person endure pain; others are an attempt to gain an edge with child custody and visitation. A party may even purposefully diminish or devalue marital assets to ensure a soon-to-be-ex gets less through the divorce process.
Regardless of the circumstances, misconduct is never appropriate. At times, it is even against the law. If you encounter foul play in connection with divorce proceedings, it is essential to get in touch with a New York divorce lawyer right away. Some background information should help you understand your rights.
Types of Misconduct and Indications of Wrongdoing: Some acts are unlawful because they are a direct violation of a New York statute, while other misconduct arises through a failure to comply with a New York divorce court order. As you may know, divorce laws authorize a judge to issue orders regarding marital property at any time throughout the divorce process. There may also be orders related to alimony and minor children. A party may engage in wrongdoing by:
- Excessive Spending: Unless certain expenditures were common during the marriage, parties should not be making frivolous expenditures or purchasing unnecessary luxury items. Excessive spending dissipates the value of the marital estate, taking away from the other spouse.
- Concealing Assets: When a party to a divorce hides marital property, that asset cannot be considered by the court when making decisions on dividing properly. The other party will receive less when the judge determines an equitable distribution of marital assets. Plus, concealing assets can also have an adverse impact on alimony and child support, because that payor’s net worth is lower.
- Interference with Custody and Visitation: New York law on child support orders are legally binding when entered during the divorce process, so a parent may violate the law through disruptions.
- Failure to Pay Alimony or Child Support: Courts will usually issue an order for spousal or child support during the divorce process, which is intended to provide financial assistance until the case concludes. The other party and children could encounter serious hardship when the payor refuses to comply with the order.
Strategies for Enforcing Your Rights: All orders entered during the New York divorce process have the effect of law, so there may be penalties for civil – or even criminal – contempt when a party violates them. To enforce your rights, you must usually file a petition to request that the court take action against misconduct.
When the wrongdoing involves a spouse concealing assets to avoid having the judge consider them in divorce, one effective strategy is to take advantage of New York’s laws on discovery and disclosure. It is often possible to find property through requests to produce documents, written interrogatories, and other discovery tools. Plus, you are entitled to make the other party appear for a deposition. By placing that person under oath and asking questions about hidden assets, you may discover assets you did not know about.
Reach Out to a New York Divorce Attorney Right Away
Misconduct during the divorce process can have significant implications for your financial and personal interests, as well as your rights as a parent. In addition to the options mentioned above, there are strategies for addressing wrongdoing and bringing it to the attention of the court. For more information on how our team will protect your welfare, please contact The Mandel Law Firm. You can set up a consultation at our Manhattan office by calling (646) 770-3868 or checking out our website.