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When going through a divorce, you hope that your spouse will be honest when presenting certain facts of their case. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes, spouses lie about their assets and when they do, it can present many challenges and result in an unfair settlement, or worse. There are many different reasons a spouse may lie about their assets but they can all hurt you in the end. For this reason, it is crucial that you understand how to identify signs of fraud, and how to protect yourself from it.
There are many different reasons a spouse may wish to lie about their assets during divorce, and a variety of ways in which they may attempt to do it. A spouse may ask a friend or family member to temporarily take possessions such as cash or stock options to prevent these assets from being divided in property division hearings.
Or, a spouse may try to hide income so they do not have to pay as much in spousal maintenance or child support payments. When they do this, they will often misreport their income on tax returns. Although this could result in criminal charges for them, it could also mean financial consequences for you. If you had filed a joint tax return with your spouse, you could face the same consequences yourself, which is extremely serious.
Although financial fraud during divorce is very difficult to identify, there are some common signs you can look for to spot it. When engaging in fraud your spouse may:
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take some important steps to protect yourself. Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report. Review the report when you receive it and look for discrepancies, such as debt you did not incur. If you and your spouse had joint lines of credit or credit cards, ask the issuer to remove your name from the account. This way you will not be held liable for any of the debt your spouse incurs. You can also ask banks and creditors to freeze the accounts temporarily. If they cannot do so, ask them to set up fraud alerts and credit monitoring so you can spot any unusual activity right away.
Divorce is already extremely difficult, but when your spouse is hiding assets or performing other acts of financial fraud, it makes it even more challenging. At the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, our skilled Hinsdale divorce lawyers can identify when a spouse is acting fraudulently and present evidence that shows the truth. If you need help with any aspect of your divorce, call us today at 630-920-8855 to schedule your free consultation so we can get started on your divorce.