During a divorce, it is common to feel sad, angry or hurt by the other spouse. In some cases, these feelings may lead to suspicion of financial fraud. This may involve hiding assets or misrepresenting how much an individual makes to influence property division proceedings. While rare, fraud may result in a spouse getting less than his or her fair share of marital assets.
There are many tools available to those who suspect that a spouse may be engaging in fraud. First, it may be advisable to hire a forensic accountant who may be able to study financial documents to determine if assets have been made to look like separate property or to verify claims that assets have been commingled. A financial expert may also be valuable when determining how to account for deferred compensation or money inside of a retirement account.
In some cases, there are signs that fraud may be taking place. For instance, an individual may take out large sums of cash or start to loan money to friends or family members. An individual engaging in fraud may also spend more time on their computer or have mail sent to an office or another location that isn’t the couple’s marital home. In some cases, records that were previously transparent have now become confidential in nature.
Prior to getting a divorce, it may be a good idea to talk to an attorney. Doing so may make it possible to get the maximum share of marital property as determined by state law. An attorney may be able to recommend outside experts who can find hidden assets or otherwise review records to ensure that the client gets his or her fair share during property division proceedings.