Financial fraud is a major problem that plagues many contested and high net worth divorce cases. New York requires each party to disclose their finances during their divorce case. Unfortunately, a number of resentful spouses will take steps to defraud their ex during divorce.
What are the telltale signs of financial fraud in divorce, and how can you protect yourself?
#1: Hidden Assets
Hidden assets are one of the biggest financial issues burdening contested divorce cases. Additionally, they are one of the biggest contributors to financial fraud. There are countless ways to hide assets during divorce, but these are a few of the most common:
- Transferring marital funds to new, private accounts
- Hiding large sums of cash in a safety deposit box
- Lying on a Statement of Net Worth
- Giving money or expensive assets to a family member
- Overpaying the IRS or creditors
- Deferring salary, or refusing to accept raises or bonuses
- Purchase cheaper items that can be overlooked during divorce
#2: Dissipation of Marital Assets
The dissipation of marital assets is a form of financial fraud that is exclusive to divorce. Dissipation occurs when one spouse burns through marital assets without the consent, or knowledge, of their partner. This often includes:
- Excessive spending on luxuries or expensive hobbies
- Destroying marital property, or letting the home fall into foreclosure
- Spending money on extramarital affairs
- Selling expensive assets for under market value
#3: Sole Control over Marital Assets
Financial abuse is a very serious issue in New York divorce. In fact, financial abuse can start long before a case even filed. It occurs when one spouse has complete control over the couple’s finances, forces their spouse to hand over their paycheck, or withholds account information.
Those who are involved in a financially abusive relationships can also fall victim to financial fraud in divorce. It is important to get access to as many bank accounts as possible, and keep a list of marital assets, to help prove any allegations of fraud.
#4: Changes in Technology Use
Technology plays a major role in divorce cases. It can be incredibly beneficial during the discovery process, but it can also be used to help someone commit financial fraud. Besides hiding assets using Bitcoin, how else can feuding spouses use technology to commit financial fraud?
Changes in one person’s computer use is a surefire sign that fraud is being committed. Deleting browser history, changing passwords, and quickly closing out of applications when someone enters the room are all signs of fraud.
Protect Yourself from Financial Fraud
Sometimes, fraud can be inevitable in contested divorce matters. However, this doesn’t mean you have to be a victim. The best way to help stop financial fraud is to hire an experienced divorce attorney.
The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. specializes in contested divorce cases with complex financial issues. For more information on how we can help you handle financial fraud in your case, call us at 718-875-7584 today.