Most individuals do not need to worry about financial fraud during their divorce. If they have been married for some time, it is likely each person knows the other’s finances. However, this is not always the case. In some marriages, particularly high net worth relationships, individuals handle their finances on their own and commingle very little. Additionally, high net worth individuals may acquire sources of income and assets the other spouse is not aware of because it does not affect them.
No matter the state of someone’s finances, if he or she believes his or her spouse is committing financial fraud during their divorce, an Illinois family law attorney should be contacted right away.
What is Financial Fraud?
Financial fraud typically includes when one spouse attempts to hide money or assets from the other party. Or the spouse may misrepresent an amount of money or value of an asset. An individual may do this during a divorce to avoid certain marital property being divided between the spouses. The spouse believes that if he or she hides money or assets the other spouse does not know about, then he or she will be able to leave the divorce with more than the other person.
However, both spouses are required to disclose property and assets to the courts to determine everything that is included in the marital estate and then how it can be equitably divided.
Signs of Financial Fraud
It can be difficult to tell if your spouse is being honest with you in regard to his or her finances, particularly if you have been separated for some time. However, there are signs that your spouse is hiding or misrepresenting something, including:
- Being unwilling to share financial details with you;
- Changing where mail is sent;
- Making unusual cash withdrawals or money transfers;
- Other unusual banking activity;
- Gifting money or assets to others without your consent;
- Displaying secretive behavior like leaving the room for phone calls or turning off the computer screen when you are around;
- Changed habits; and/or
- Alcohol or drug addiction.
How a Naperville Family Law Attorney can Help
Once you suspect your spouse is lying about money during the divorce, you may not be sure what to do. It is best to call a divorce attorney. An experienced litigator will understand the ramifications of financial fraud during a divorce and will help you manage the situation.
Your attorney may investigate the situation using public records and joint tax return statements. He or she can use the discovery process during the divorce to request your spouse’s financial records. Additionally, if your attorney believes your spouse has been clever in hiding assets, you may need to hire a qualified financial expert to perform an in-depth investigation.
If you discover financial fraud following your divorce, it is still best to speak with an attorney. You may be able to have your previous divorce order set aside or modified, or you may have a civil case based on fraud against your ex-spouse.
To learn more about how you can handle financial fraud during your divorce, call our compassionate DuPage County family law attorneys at 630-665-7676. We are happy to help you with all of your family law questions.