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Man sells property during divorce proceedings, keeps money

In Georgia and other states, divorcing spouses are generally expected to refrain from selling property or other assets until the divorce proceedings are over. However, a divorcing husband sold a Brooklyn property, and on Sept. 10, he urged the New York Court of Appeals to not hold him in contempt of court for refusing to say where he put the money.

The man's wife filed for divorce in 2008, and the property that he sold in 2009 for a $776,000 profit was part of the marital estate. He was ordered to deposit the proceeds into an escrow account in 2010, but he did not comply and says that he no longer has the money. His attorney says that the property was transferred when there was no order prohibiting him from doing so, and the order was not issued until he no longer had the money, the attorney added.

His wife's attorney says that the man has not deposited anything in the escrow account in five years. However, he has reportedly transferred a property for nothing and gave a business to his sister, reports the attorney. The husband argues that he was divorced in Lebanon, so his wife is not entitled to the protection of New York property division laws. When asked to testify before the court about where the money went, he refused. His attorney says that he can exercise that right and that others have to prove that he has the money. The attorney also says that he was incarcerated for 15 days for reportedly violating court-ordered limitations that did not exist.

Divorcing spouses who are unsure of their rights during the proceedings could get advice from their attorneys. If they believe that their estranged spouses are not being financially forthcoming, the attorneys may also be able to uncover hidden assets with help from accounting experts.

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

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