How to Uncover Financial Fraud in a Long Island, NY Divorce

by | Dec 27, 2022 | Property Division, NY

Financial fraud is a serious issue that often occurs during contentious divorces on Long Island, NY. While it may be difficult to identify, some telltale signs may indicate your spouse is financially fraudulent. If you suspect financial fraud, it’s important to take action to protect yourself and your assets.

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What Is Divorce Fraud  in NY?

Divorce fraud can take many different forms, but all of them involve one spouse hiding or lying about assets, usually to keep more of the marital property for themselves. Some common types of financial fraud in a divorce include:

Hiding Assets from Spouse

This can involve hiding money in a secret bank account, underreporting income on tax returns, or failing to disclose all sources of income.

Transferring Assets to Someone Elese

This can involve transferring ownership of property or investments into someone else’s name (such as a child’s), selling property for less than it’s worth, or giving away assets to family or friends.

Lying About Debts

This can involve incurring debts without the other spouse’s knowledge, hiding existing debts from the other spouse, or exaggerating debts to get a larger share of the marital property.

All of these forms of fraud can have serious consequences if the person is caught. If you suspect your spouse is financially fraudulent, you should speak to an experienced Long Island, NY divorce lawyer as soon as possible to determine what your next steps should be.

How to Identify Financial Fraud in a Long Island, NY Divorce

If your spouse is being amicable or isn’t exhibiting any abnormal behavior, it may be difficult to tell if they are hiding money or otherwise committing fraud. Here are a few indicators:

Controlling Behavior

If your spouse suddenly becomes very controlling around money and starts insisting on knowing every detail of your finances, it could be a sign that they are trying to hide something themselves. Especially if they were not previously interested in financial matters, this behavior change may be a red flag.

Secrecy Around Money

If your spouse starts being secretive about what they spend or make, this is another possible sign of fraud. They may start hiding bank statements or credit card bills, or they may refuse to share information about their income or assets.

Giving Assets or Money to Family or Friends

Another way to hide assets or large sums of money is to give them to family members or friends who will give them back after the divorce. If your spouse starts sending money or giving heirlooms or other assets away, this may be a sign that they are trying to keep these out of the divorce settlement.

Your Spouse Is Caught Cheating

If your spouse is caught cheating on you, this is a good indicator that they aren’t trustworthy and it can also be indicative of financial fraud. Cheating can often be a way of hiding assets and income, as well as a way of spending money without having to account for it to their partner. Consider the possibility that they may be funneling funds away if they readily admit to having an expensive affair.

Your Spouse’s Income Decreases Without Explanation

If your spouse’s income suddenly decreases for no good reason, it could indicate that they are hiding money instead of putting it in your joint bank account. This might happen if your spouse is hiding income through creative accounting methods or if they are simply not declaring all of their income on their tax return.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Spouse Is Being Financially Fraudulent

If you suspect your spouse of financial fraud, the first thing you should do is set up a separate bank account so you can keep track of your finances and ensure that your spouse cannot access your money without your knowledge. You should also keep all important financial documents, such as tax returns and bank statements, in a safe place where your spouse cannot get to them.

You should also keep an eye on your credit score. If you notice any sudden or unexplained changes in your credit score, it could be an indication that your spouse has been using your information to open new accounts or take out loans in your name. If you see any suspicious activity on your credit report, contact the credit bureau immediately to dispute the fraudulent charges.

Contact an Experienced Long Island, NY Divorce Lawyer

Don’t wait to contact a Long Island divorce lawyer as soon as possible if you think you may be a victim of divorce fraud. A qualified Long Island family lawyer can help you gather evidence to support your case and can also assist you through the divorce and property division process. Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today for more information or to book a consultation by calling 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page.

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