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Is your spouse committing financial fraud?

As you face your impending Ohio divorce, you may have the uneasy feeling that your spouse is up to something. Specifically, you may suspect that (s)he is attempting to hide marital assets so as to obtain an advantage when it comes time to divide your marital property by way of a property settlement agreement.

As reported by the Huffington Post, hiding assets represents a form of financial fraud that, sadly, many greedy and/or vindictive spouses engage in.

Financial fraud red flags

Asset-hiding spouses often inadvertently signal their covert activities to their about-to-be defrauded partners via one or more red flags. Be on the lookout for such things as the following:

  • Your spouse stops confiding in you.
  • (S)he changes his/her habitual behaviors with which you are so familiar.
  • (S)he gets mail from people or places you are unfamiliar with.
  • Alternatively, (s)he stops getting mail at home, indicating that (s)he now receives it at his/her office or other location.
  • (S)he gets strange phone calls in which (s)he speaks cryptically and/or noncommitally and refuses to tell you with whom (s)he was speaking.
  • You find out that (s)he has a secret paramour.

Accomplices

Asset-hiding spouses likewise often approach their family, friends and/or business associates to help them in their illicit schemes. If your spouse comes from a large family and/or has a wide circle of friends and associates, (s)he may attempt to convince some of them to help him/her hide assets, claiming that you are the guilty party in the impending divorce, and consequently (s)he is justified in transferring some of his/her assets to them so you do not ultimately get them. Obviously, if you discover a secret paramour, this person is a prime candidate for helping your spouse secrete assets.

Hiding places

Unfortunately for you, your spouse can find any number of places, both physical and electronic, in which to hide assets, including the following:

  • Safe deposit box(es) at new banks where (s)he establishes accounts
  • Online brokerage or other financial accounts
  • Cash ”loans” to accomplices
  • Deposits into accomplices’ bank accounts
  • Employment accounts, such as those containing untaken bonuses, commissions and deferred compensation, of which you are unaware

While this educational information is not legal advice, it can help you understand financial fraud as it relates to divorces and what to look for.

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