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Digging out fraud during property division

In any divorce, it is important to know as much about your household’s finances as possible. In many marriages, one spouse handles money matters solo; this prevent many people from filing for divorce, because they feel like they are going into it blind.

It is possible for spouses in this position to arm themselves with the documents they need to know how much marital property they are entitled to, perhaps with the help with a divorce attorney or other professionals. And in most cases, spouses do their best to play fair and negotiate a settlement that is acceptable for best sides.

But sometimes, a spouse tries to hide valuable assets, perhaps out of greed or a desire to “get” their husband or wife. This behavior is against the law, and can be hugely destructive to the honest spouse’s hopes to get through the divorce as quickly and smoothly as possible, while still preserving their rights.

A New York couple has been fighting it out in divorce court for seven years. Their case is currently before the state Court of Appeals, the highest level, over some real estate the former wife says the former husband transferred to others instead of including in the marital property.

According to ABC News, an attorney for the ex-husband recently told the court that her client does not have to testify about the alleged fraud, and that the burden is on the ex-wife to prove that it happened. The ex-wife says that the ex-husband has not deposited any money in an escrow account in five years, despite transferring a dry cleaning business to his sister and another piece of property to an apparently unknown party.

As this case demonstrates, even when it appears that exes have reached an agreement on division of property, disputes can later occur. When they do, it may be necessary to go back to your divorce attorney to enforce your rights.