Property division is one of the most contentious issues couples face during a divorce as their hard-earned assets and overall financial security are at stake. When divorcing, individuals may be tempted to commit financial fraud. Hiding assets or financial information is illegal and leads to an unfair divorce settlement. Each spouse must lay all of their financial cards on the table. Keep reading to learn the most common signs of financial fraud and discover how a dedicated Suffolk County Divorce & Separation Attorney can help you protect your hard-earned assets.
What is financial fraud in a divorce?
When divorcing, one of the most common forms of financial fraud is hiding assets. In a divorce, any assets accumulated during the divorce are split fairly between each spouse. To ensure a fair split, the court needs to have an accurate inventory of the couple’s marital property. If one spouse acts in bad faith and hides assets such as cash, property, or investments to keep them out of the property division process to make sure they walk away with more money, it will result in an unfair division of assets. To ensure you are not left with an economic disadvantage it is critical to not be kept in the dark about your finances. You should have copies of all of your financial statements and tax records. This is to ensure you can detect when your spouse is hiding assets to cheat you out of a fair division of assets. It is important to note that hiding assets or misrepresenting financial information is against the law.
Moreover, another common type of financial fraud seen in divorces is debt fraud. Debt fraud occurs when one spouse incurs significant debt without their partner’s knowledge. This can also lead to an unfair division of assets as it can result in you having to pay a large portion of your partner’s accumulated debt. To protect your finances when divorcing and prevent this type of financial fraud, you should remove your spouse as an authorized user of your accounts. In addition, you should open separate accounts. Additionally, other types of fraud may include income, tax, and investment fraud all of which occur when one spouse fails to report or misrepresents an accurate calculation of their assets to the court. Ultimately, financial fraud in a divorce has devastating effects as it can leave one spouse at a financial disadvantage and damage their overall financial security. When divorcing look out for the following behaviors that can indicate your spouse is guilty of financial fraud:
- Your spouse is controlling over financial matters.
- Your spouse will not grant you access to certain accounts or financial statements.
- Your spouse will not explain transactions.
- Your spouse has asked you to sign legal documents without allowing you to read them.
- Your spouse has lots of cash transactions.
- Your spouse has separate money stashed in a bank account that you never knew about.
If you identify any of the following signs, your spouse may be guilty of financial fraud. If this is the case please contact one of our trusted attorneys who can help you take the necessary steps to safeguard your finances. Allow our firm to assist you today so you can walk away from your divorce without feeling cheated. If you still feel like you were cheated after your divorce, we can assist you in challenging financial settlements and post-decree modifications.