Wife’s Application in Divorce Lawsuit to Punish Husband Fails

dad's attorney on Long IslandIn the case of Steineger v. Perkins, special referee Louis Crespo sitting in a Family Court Part in New York County had a case before him in which a plaintiff wife alleged that her husband had failed to produce documents necessary for the prosecution of divorce and therefore should not be allowed to present evidence with regard to financial issues regarding the case. The wife brought an application to preclude the husband from offering any evidence or testimony of any type at the trial concerning financial issues. In addition, she brought an application for attorney’s fees and monetary sanctions against the husband. She claimed the marital estate held millions of dollars in it. She also claimed the defendant’s allegations that these funds were his separate property was untrue.

Separate Assets

The defendant husband took the position that yes he had millions of dollars in separate assets. These assets were all accumulated prior to his marriage to the plaintiff and were not subject to equitable distribution in a divorce.

Special Referee Crespo, in his decision, found the testimony of the wife, plaintiff, did not support her claim her husband had intentionally failed to produce documentation of his assets. He also didn’t find she had been prejudiced by the husband’s actions. Special Referee Crespo reached the decision the wife did not meet her burden of proof in showing her husband had purposely or willfully failed to produce documents or that he was engaging in the type of conduct which would prevent him giving testimony or introducing evidence at the time of trial. The court noted in its decision since the wife had not met her burden of proof she was not entitled to preclude the husband’s introduction of financial testimony into evidence. In addition she was not entitled to either attorney’s fees or monetary sanctions against the husband.


If you cooperate with the court and provide the appropriate information, courts won’t punish you.

father's rights advocate Elliot S. Schlissel represents fathers in custody cases and with regard to issues regarding child support. He has been referred to as the dad’s attorney.

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 45 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.