Is fraud a threat to your divorce settlement?

Whether or not dishonesty was a factor in your marriage, it is essential to do what you can to prevent it from affecting property division during your divorce. Unfortunately, if you are in the middle of a high asset divorce, there may be many opportunities for your spouse to adjust figures or hide assets to keep from having to share them with you in the final agreement. According to Forbes magazine, statistics indicate that committing fraud during a divorce is all too common.

The figures that you and your spouse provide in your Financial Affidavit when you begin the process of property division are legally binding. If your spouse lies under oath, the penalties could include fines and a prison term. Lying spouses may also have their claims dismissed. You may even be awarded payment of your attorney fees.

The nondisclosures may be subtle and difficult to uncover. For example, it may be an overstatement of current debts or expenses, an understatement of income, or a devaluation of a stock option or tangible asset such as a car or a vacation house. Discovering fraud may be a job for professionals.

Some experts recommend that you hire a specialist in divorce finances to create an analysis of your spouse’s lifestyle that can be presented to the judge as evidence in your case. The investigation may help uncover one-time expenses and uncommon purchases as well as any patterns in the daily expenses and expenditures. This information about fraud and property division is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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