Betrayal comes in many forms, and dishonesty about finances is one of them. Along with infidelity, financial wrongdoing or disputes about money are among the top reasons Nevada residents come looking for a divorce lawyer. Las Vegas offers many temptations, not all of them physical. For spouses who suspect their husband or wife may be engaged in shady financial transactions, knowing the warning signs can help.
A major red flag involving financial dishonesty by spouses is the sudden creation of separate accounts. If your spouse insists on creating a separate bank account after years of sharing a joint account, you should be wary, as this may be a sign that he or she wants to keep you in the dark regarding certain transactions.
Another red flag spouses should be aware of involves the mail. If your spouse opens up a post office box, and has bills and financial statements routed there, it should trigger some suspicion on your part. Spouses engaged in deceptive behavior will often reroute financial statements to another location to avoid having the other spouse discover them.
If you’re in the middle of a divorce proceeding, your spouse may feel compelled to hide assets and financial information to reduce your share of the marital property to be divided. Some telltale signs of financial fraud in divorce include:
- Sudden complaints about a sharp downturn in business or investment income. Spouses may understate their income to reduce monetary or other awards to a spouse they are divorcing.
- Deferred income. Some spouses will put off getting paid by clients to artificially deflate their income until a divorce is finalized.
- Lackluster maintenance. Some spouses will stop properly maintaining homes, properties, and other assets to reduce their value, in hopes of diminishing the other spouse’s share of marital property.
- Profligate spending. Some spouses will start spending heavily so they can overstate their debts and financial needs to a judge.
- Trips overseas. If your spouse is making frequent trips to countries with lax banking laws or laws that enable secrecy, there’s a good chance he or she is squirreling away assets.
- File deletions. If your spouse begins deleting financial information or programs like Quicken or Quickbooks from the family computer or office computer, it could be a sign that he or she is trying to hide money.
Divorcing spouses are entitled to a fair and honest assessment of marital assets and an equitable division of that property. Spouses involved in a divorce where there are significant marital assets, or one of the spouses owns a business, will need the support of a skilled divorce team, including forensic accountants to help track down all assets and ensure no fraud takes place.
The McFarling Law Group is a Las Vegas firm specializing in contested divorce and child custody cases. Emily McFarling is an experienced Las Vegas family law attorney who is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist and a recipient of the pre-eminent AV Rating. To learn more, call 702 766 6671.