When your divorce is clouded by financial fraud

During the years you were married, perhaps your spouse made a good living. You lived in a nice house and never lacked for necessities or luxuries. You did your share, too. Maybe your spouse's income allowed you to stay home with the children or work at a job that was meaningful.

When your spouse asked for a divorce, you may have felt shocked or even betrayed. Now the sense of betrayal has intensified because you suspect that your spouse is being less than honest about your finances.

What kinds of fraud should I look for?

While serious financial fraud in a marriage doesn't happen often in Colorado, the more money a couple makes, the easier it is to hide it or move it around. Your spouse may wish to do this to prevent you from getting your share of marital assets during the divorce.

There are two common ways in which a spouse may deceive a soon-to-be ex-partner:

  • By hiding assets
  • By misrepresenting his or her actual income

Financial fraud committed by a spouse is much easier when only one spouse handles the bills and investments. If your spouse has been the money manager in the family, you may want to begin learning as much as you can about how the money comes and goes.

Discovering the true state of your finances will be important before heading into asset division. You will want to make sure you get your fair share of the marital assets.

What are the signs that my spouse is deceiving me?

Your suspicion may simply be a side effect of the mistrust you are already feeling, or it may be a conclusion to which you have come based on some evidence.

Of course, one obvious sign that your spouse is mishandling the finances to benefit his or her own interests is that you catch him or her in lies. In lieu of that, you may have cause to be concerned if you notice any of the following behaviors in your spouse:

  • He or she has been more secretive
  • Your spouse's mail no longer comes to the house, or unfamiliar mail begins arriving
  • Your spouse changes his or her habits for no apparent reason
  • Your spouse hides the computer screen when you walk into the room
  • You notice strange cash withdrawals from joint accounts
  • Your spouse begins making monetary loans or gifts to family or friends without discussing it with you
  • He or she begins showing evidence of addiction

These may be signs that he or she is keeping secrets from you, and if those secrets concern marital assets, you have a right to know.

You can always seek professional advice

The more of these red flags you see in your spouse, the more likely he or she may be doing something fraudulent with your finances. Discussing your suspicions with an attorney will provide you advice on the steps you should take before asset division proceedings begin. Your attorney will have the resources to investigate potential fraud and defend your rights throughout the divorce proceedings.

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