During a divorce, it is critically important that each party make a full disclosure of all assets and liabilities. I often tell clients that I can deal with almost any situation as long as I know about it in advance. A recent case emphasizes this point. Because the husband did disclose certain assets, his ex-wife was permitted to reopen the case. This protracts the litigation and exposes the offending party to possibly having to pay the fees incurred by the innocent spouse.
FAMILY LAW 20-2-6453 Zuba v. Zuba, App. Div. (per curiam) (12 pp.) Plaintiff Patricia Hughes appealed the Family Part’s denial of her motion to reopen her final judgment of divorce. Plaintiff’s motion was based on her receipt of information that her ex-husband, defendant Bernard Zuba, had purchased property in Costa Rica and had a bank account in Belize that he concealed from her during the parties’ marriage and divorce proceedings. Plaintiff claimed that defendant intentionally concealed the existence of marital assets from her during the parties’ marriage and divorce. The appellate panel found that the proofs adduced by plaintiff meet the minimum threshold necessary to entitle her to discovery and potentially a plenary hearing regarding her claim. The panel concluded that the Family Part judge denied plaintiff’s motion prematurely, vacated the order and remanded the matter for discovery and further proceedings as necessary.