Divorce and the Alleged Recently Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome

Divorces, often, result in battles over the amount of family assets and the income and liabilities of the primary monied spouse. In some cases, the bread earner of the family claims that the bread earners income dropped and liabilities increased, thus, leading to less of an ability to pay maintenance and child support. For an article on the basics of divorce in New York, please see: Grounds for Divorce in New York.

NY Divorce

Lawyers at this law firm, have seen, in some CT, NJ and NY Divorce cases, bread earners of families retiring, that took pay cuts, lost employment or had increased liabilities because of medical and other expenses. We have, also, seen mere fabrications. The fabrication of lost income and increased liability is refereed to as Recently Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome (“R.A.I.D.S”)

RAIDS Law in New York

New York, CT and New Jersey courts, and most courts that we have seen, allow judges to “impute” income in divorce cases. New York courts may “‘impute income based upon the party’s past income or demonstrated earning potential’” (see, Matter of Taylor v. Benedict, 136 AD3d 1295, 1295, 24 NYS3d 546 [4th Dept. 2016].

The New York courts may be brutal on those that attempt to hide income and assets from the court in NY Divorce actions. In a 2010 decision, a New York court noted that:

“After a long and bitterly contested trial, this complex litigation may best be summed up as a well-crafted but legally bankrupt claim of “sudden poverty”, a disease which seems to infect matrimonial litigants with particular frequency.

Apart from the time, effort and expense to which he has put his wife to penetrate the smoke-screen he has so skillfully created– and we must give him credit for that–his schemes are a house of cards constructed by a self-indulgent individual intent upon his own gratification at the expense of all of those innocent persons who have given of themselves to him and had a right to expect more.”

Siskind v. Siskind, 05/202676 (Decided: April 26, 2010)

A court, most often, imputes income in situations where the monied spouse:

  1. Owns a Business;
  2. Maintains a Separate Bank Account;
  3. Refuses to work;
  4. Has assets in foreign jurisdictions; or
  5. Obtains cash income.

We shall be updating the reader on more issues concerning New York litigation. Please check back and subscribe to the blog. For an article on international divorces in New York, please see: Hiring a NY Attorney for International Divorces in New York courts.

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