Protecting Your Share Of The Marital Assets

With more than 30 years of matrimonial law experience in New York, I can make a fairly accurate prediction of what you can afford, and how your divorce case should probably be resolved. As your lawyer, I will help you:

  1. Avoid wasteful controversies.
  2. Make efficient use of the court system when appropriate.
  3. Preserve assets for their eventual distribution in the divorce settlement.

I am experienced in dealing with financially sophisticated issues such as executive compensation, enhanced earning ability acquired during the marriage, sophisticated accounting questions and valuing businesses.

A divorce is the dissolution of a partnership in which there is a shrinking pot. It should be approached with both discretion and purpose. Part of the wisdom that I provide is helping you avoid disputes that can easily exceed the value of the assets in controversy.

Defining Your Goals

For me, the preparation for the conclusion of your case begins on the first day we meet. This is not my first divorce case. You and I will first identify your realistic expectations and objectives. We will then work together to achieve them. I will help you avoid taking impulsive steps, like emptying money from a bank account for which you will only suffer later consequences. I prefer to use a more nuanced and sophisticated approach that keeps my client out of trouble and preserves future options.

I do not expect your spouse to agree immediately, and I do not demand that you compromise what you believe is right. What often happens in a divorce is that two people who once shared pillow talk about financial transactions now find themselves in an adversary position. Unlike other types of conflict, your former ally is now your opponent. The disclosures made during intimate times may become weapons in a dispute. Unlike all other types of conflict, the military intelligence in a divorce case is often virtually perfect: a spouse often knows a lot about the other spouses weaknesses. That can be important.

Cross-Examining Witnesses

A legendary trial lawyer once cautioned that the cross examination of a witness should be approached like an encounter with a man armed with a knife. Skilled trial lawyers take great care to decide whether to cross examine a witness, and how to cross examine the witness. I suggest that a spouse should employ the same trial lawyer's care and caution when contemplating divorce litigation. One of my strengths as a lawyer is knowing how to best protect you from a spouse who threatens to use financial information against you in a divorce proceeding, as well as knowing when and how to share important information with the other side and the court. I have expertise in defending clients who face criminal charges that may arise.

If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement, your case may be easier. But not always. The agreement has to be "fair when made" and "not unconscionable" at the time of enforcement. Under New York law, the agreement also has to be signed in the form required to entitle a deed to be recorded, and properly acknowledged before a notary public. If it meets those tests and is not unfair to children, it can be enforced by the court.

Contact me, attorney Robert G. Smith, for more information about protecting your assets.

Free Consultation: Call 212-499-0940

Nationally Recognized Divorce Attorney
Television Commentator on Divorce and Criminal Defense Issues