Though you marry for love, it’s almost inevitable that your finances will become intertwined with your spouse’s. However, this can make getting a divorce confusing, as some assets may become marital property. If you’re going through a divorce, it’s essential to understand how a spouse can commit fraud, as this can impact the distribution of marital assets. Luckily, the following blog and Hudson County property distribution attorneys can help you navigate the process of uncovering fraud.
What Kind of Fraud Can Occur in a Divorce?
Generally, any time a spouse purposely misrepresents their finances during a divorce can be considered fraud. In New Jersey, assets are subjected to equitable distribution, which means that each spouse will receive a fair, not equal, amount of property based on their contribution to the marriage.
However, one spouse may try to hide or omit certain assets to ensure they receive a greater portion of the property. Methods include purposely misrepresenting assets, transferring funds to a friend under the guise of owing a debt, dissipating assets, or committing tax, loan, or insurance fraud. Similarly, if a spouse commits forgery, this is also classified as fraud.
There is a common misconception that only spouses not involved with finances can fall victim to divorce fraud. This is not true, and even spouses who are heavily involved with paying bills or filing taxes can be subject to a dishonest spouse.
What Are the Signs That Fraud is Occurring?
There are a number of signs that can help alert you to the possibility of fraud, and knowing the most common can help clue you in as to whether or not your spouse is looking to trick you.
If you notice that your spouse acts strangely, refuses to let you see accounts, makes numerous transfers, has a secret account you were unaware of, or asks you to sign a document without letting you read or comprehend it, they may be committing fraud.
Should you notice any of these instances, it’s essential to contact your attorney as soon as possible. Be sure to provide them with all documents you have, as they can analyze the statements. If they believe your spouse is hiding assets, they may have a forensic accountant take another look at your accounts to confirm their suspicions.
If your spouse is found to be hiding assets from the court, the funds or value of the property will be taken into consideration, and they will likely have to split those assets with you. Similarly, a judge may make them pay your legal fees, award you alimony, or even hold them on fraud charges.
When you need help with your divorce, Greenberg & Walden is ready to help. Our dedicated team will do everything possible to guide you through this process to ensure the distribution of assets is as fair as possible.