There are four types of people out there in the business world and how you deal with each one is different in a divorce and/or alimony case. There are: Employees, Business Owners, 1099 Contractors and the Tony Soprano “i dont claim money on my taxes” businessman. This article is about our New Jersey native Tony Soprano and the like who have various successful enterprises but do not claim all the money they earn on their taxes making it hard for a spouse to truly know how much money the spouse makes. There are ways to find out and there are aspects of this that must be considered also as if a Judge in New Jersey believes something fraudulent is going on with regard to taxes, the Judge must report that person or the parties to the IRS under Sheridan. Anyway, without getting into case law, lets stick with basics as to how to handle a Tony Soprano “cash man” divorce case in New Jersey.
HOW TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR SPOUSE EARNS?
Forensic accountants. While it may not be possible to be 100% accurate, a forensic accountant will comb through records, bank statements, mortgage statements, expenses paid to try and derive a number that reasonably reflects what a person who does not claim all his or her money on his or her taxes. For example, if Tony claims to earn $50,000 per year but the mortgage on the home alone is $9500 per month, something is wrong and the $50,000 is not accurate at all. If Tony has a yacht that costs $2200 a month on top of that, that will also help paint the picture of your spouse’s accurate earning so that you can try to obtain alimony or a bigger divorce settlement than Tony is trying to give you. It may seem not seem accurate to a w2 or 1099 employee/contractor but often times people who earn alot of cash or do not claim all of their earnings run into the issue of what to do with all the cash? Sometimes they run out of ideas and spend, spend, spend. Keeping a diary of where you go together, how often, where you eat together, how many people come over your house for a party and how often and just some ideas that can be presented in court or in settlement meetings. The diary must be kept and updated on a regular basis for the court to consider it.
In short, just because your spouse does not claim all of his or her income does not mean that you will be shortchanged in a divorce case. You need to work with an experienced divorce attorney that can help you and the forensic accountants to find the assets and true income so that your divorce will be fair. If you have a divorce case in Jersey City-Hudson County, Newark-Essex County or beyond contact my team at the Artusa Law Firm on 201-706-7910 for a confidential appointment, dont worry, Tony wont know anything about it!