For a divorce in New York, one of the key steps is to freeze assets so that they can’t be moved around or hidden during the property division process. A judge can order a freeze if they believe a party might take or conceal assets but it is also possible for a party to a divorce to ask a judge to do so.
There are three steps to getting assets frozen, and they are fairly straightforward The first step is to fill out an automatic temporary restraining order form. This is paperwork that demands marital assets be frozen. Marital assets can include cash in bank accounts, money in special accounts like retirement plans, and even real estate and other big assets. The next step is to give the paperwork to the other spouse, or to their lawyer. The paperwork needs to be officially served to the other party so that it can take effect. The last step is to send a copy of the forms to the owner or custodian of every asset. That means banks or financial services companies where accounts are held, for example.
This process ensures that the assets can’t be moved around, sold, traded, or otherwise manipulated during the divorce. Some people try to hide assets so that they won’t go to the other spouse, and this asset freeze prevents that.
Getting an asset freeze is an important step to ensure that the property division is fair and accounts for everything that falls under the marital property umbrella. Without it, you may have difficulty claiming a share in assets that could help you rebuild your life after divorce.