Saunders Law Group

Warning signs of financial trickery in a pending divorce

If you want out of your marriage and hope for a better future, you undoubtedly want to ensure that you'll get a fair settlement in your Florida divorce proceedings. Unfortunately, especially for high asset households, the potential exists for one spouse to intentionally defraud the other.

Watching for certain behaviors can help you determine the likelihood of your spouse trying to manipulate the outcome of the divorce in their favor. There are multiple ways in which your spouse might attempt to unfairly skew the outcome of the asset division process for their personal benefit.

Your spouse might attempt to hide assets

Hidden assets can be anything from art and jewelry that disappear shortly after you announce your intention to file for divorce to bank accounts funded with small withdrawals made over many weeks or months. Sometimes people will claim an item never existed, and other times they may claim they lost the asset in question. By pretending these assets don't exist, your spouse hopes to deprive you of your fair share of them in the property division proceedings.

Giving away assets or selling them for low prices is another red flag

Sometimes, a spouse attempting to manipulate the property division outcome won't hide items and then pretend they never existed but will instead give those assets to someone else as a gift. Other times, they might sell the item for a fraction of its actual value to someone that they trust will sell it back to them for the same price after the divorce. Transferring the title of a classic vehicle for $200 could be an example of this practice.

Some spouses rack up debt or waste money

Sometimes, instead of just pretending to diminish the marital estate, people actually go through with it. They will spend money frivolously on wasteful items for themselves or gifts for others. They might burn through all of the liquid capital in your shared accounts or max out the credit cards you hold together.

This act is known as dissipation, and if you can demonstrate to the courts that your spouse engaged in abnormal spending or gifting behaviors as a way to diminish the marital estate, you may be able to hold them accountable for the amount of money they spent or the debt they accrued.

If you see any indication of hidden assets, intentional diminishment of the marital estate other questionable financial practices by your spouse, you may want to look more closely at the financial records from your marriage to determine if they are trying to manipulate you and the courts.

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