Berman & Asbel, LLP

Financial fraud and divorce in Pennsylvania

Financial fraud is not something that often occurs in marriages, but if someone's spouse is engaged in it, it could result in one spouse receiving less of a couple's assets than is deserved when the marriage comes to an end. In the divorce context, fraud usually rears its head in the form of assets being hidden or under-reported.

For example, a spouse may have received work bonuses and deposited the funds in an account that is hidden. There are a number of variants of this type of behavior, but it can generally be tracked down by having a forensic analysis of a couple's accounting completed.

The more opportunities that an individual has to hide assets, and the more suspicious the behavior, the more likely that a forensic accounting is needed. Someone with a variety of trusts, investment and stock options or retirement savings accounts will have an easier time diverting funds in a way that is not obvious. An individual that owns or runs a business will likely also have a variety of ways to obscure their total income and assets.

Irrespective of whether a spouse has engaged in fraud during a marriage or a divorce, asset division can be a difficult and contentious process. While splitting bank accounts may be straightforward, many other assets are not readily divisible. A lawyer may be able to assist a divorcing client in locating and placing a value on all marital property for the purposes of negotiating a property division settlement agreement that can then be presented to the court for its approval.

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