Sheridan v. Sheridan and the Double-Dip Issue
My name is Robert Bonavito, New Jersey, Forensic Accountant. This video is part of a series of videos where I discuss forensic accounting topics for educational purposes only. If this was a litigated matter, I would take a different approach, have different conclusions, based on different facts and circumstances. Today's video topic is going to be Sheraton VS. Sheraton [SP], which is a case dealing with testifying in court.
Often I'll have people come to my office and they'll say that their spouse is doing this or that and taking cash and stealing money. And I have to tell them that they may want to be concerned because if they do go to court and testify that the tax returns they filed are not accurate, the court has an obligation to report it to the internal revenue service. I often advise them and I say, "Listen, do you want him in jail or do you want alimony?" And what I explained to them, I said, the court, this case Sheraton vs. Sheraton [SP], this is what is says in a case. Superior Court, 1990, it says, "To allow Plaintiff to seek equity aid in dividing martial assets acquired with illicit funds which substantially demean that policy and solely the judicial process. Courts cannot permit this to be done." And what this case is saying, hey if you go to court and you testify that your spouse, his returns are not 100% correct, or you didn't report all your income, you have bank accounts oversees. The judge at that point can stop the trial and I've been in court when he has done this or she's done this, is stop the trial and say, "Stop the trial. Both attorneys meet me in my chambers." And he advises them that he's turning the case over to the Internal Revenue Services. To a year later or so, one or the other spouses is in jail.
So, everybody should not go to trial because you can still settle these disputes with binding arbitration or mediation where there is no obligation to report questionable transactions to the Internal Revenue Service. My name is Robert Bonavito. If you have any questions on this video feel free to call me or email me.