What to Do If Your Ex Is Lying About Their Assets

Deception poses a significant challenge for individuals navigating divorce proceedings, especially when it involves an “ex lying about assets in divorce.” Dishonesty can manifest in various aspects of a marriage, including finances and interpersonal relationships, often serving as a central catalyst for divorce. At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we frequently encounter clients facing spouses who have exhibited deceitful behavior in the past. Effectively representing individuals in divorces with dishonest partners requires constant vigilance to ensure the truthfulness of the opposing party and taking proactive measures to protect our client’s case integrity.

If you are encountering a divorce scenario and believe that your spouse is untruthful with you about their assets and the state of your financial affairs, then you do not have to sit idly by while someone is dishonest with you. However, it is not always easy to make an evil person suddenly become honest. Instead, you have to hold that person accountable for their actions and take steps to ensure that they are now frank with you and forthright. Their failure, to be honest, can hurt you now and in the future.

Why are people dishonest when it comes to their assets?

This is the fundamental question that we should answer in today’s blog post. It is not worth your time to consider amid a divorce, however. You have many things to think about during a divorce, and the reasons why or why not your spouse has been honest with you when it comes to issues like assets and debts is not worth your time. You have actual problems to determine within your case, and figuring out why your spouse is dishonest is not worth your time. There were already some fundamental problems in the relationship, and you can add lying or dishonesty to that list.

All you need to know is that once you become aware of their dishonesty or their propensity to lie, you need to take precautions to protect yourself and your well-being in the future. Financial infidelity can come across in multiple different ways. We see financial infidelity in the straight-up hiding of assets that spouses do not want their partners to become aware of.

Using discovery is an effective method to gather financial information, obtain admissions about your spouse’s past dishonesty, and uncover additional asset details. You may also choose to request your spouse’s credit report to identify any debts, regardless of their potential impact on your divorce. This proactive approach allows you to efficiently and reliably understand the full breadth of ongoing financial issues. Or, financial infidelity can come across utilizing a spouse taking out a credit card or debts in their partner’s name and never disclosing that to the spouse.

The deceptive impact of financial infidelity in marriage

In many ways, financial infidelity is just as damaging, if not more so, than sexual or relational infidelity. For many people, you can rationalize away sexual affair due to it being a one-time thing where emotion or other physical impulses take over, and a person cannot help themselves from cheating. However, financial infidelity almost takes a more significant deal of denial and lack of regard for the other person’s well-being in your marriage. However, it also demonstrates that a spouse must engage in a certain level of planning. While there does not necessarily have to be any planning associated with sexual infidelity, there almost always is some degree of planning for financial infidelity. The hot, intentionality of an effort goes into financial affairs that can often cause a divorce.

As the innocent spouse, holding your partner accountable and ensuring transparency in asset disclosure during the divorce proceedings falls under your responsibility. However, accomplishing this task may prove challenging, depending on the complexity of your community estate and the extent to which your spouse has concealed assets and debts throughout your marriage. A big part of this discussion also hinges on your knowledge of your financial situation and how much access you have had to bank accounts and other financial vehicles.

Assessing your risk of financial deception in divorce

You can perform a simple self-assessment at the very beginning of your divorce to determine what sort of risk you are at when it comes to having assets and debts hidden from you. Suppose you have virtually no access to the money towards your support and do not contribute monetarily to the marriage. In that scenario, you face an exceptionally high risk of being deceived regarding your finances. I am envisioning a scenario where you may have a debit card that goes to a checking account would not know about the money that goes in and only know about the money that you withdraw or utilize daily for the necessities of life like groceries, car repairs, and simple repairs for your home.

If you have no experience when it comes to checking balances of accounts online, have only a vague knowledge of what your spouse has in retirement. Relatively no understanding of what your spouse does for a living, then you are also at an exceptionally high risk of having someone fraudulently hide assets from you in your divorce. It would be best if you were transparent and honest with your attorney about your lack of knowledge of your financial situation so that they may be able to take steps to help you prepare for this. Rest assured that there are means for you to prepare to hold your spouse accountable for their lying, but you need to take steps towards doing so at the very beginning of your divorce.

Preparing to hold your spouse accountable for their financial infidelity

Work with your attorney from the very beginning of your divorce to protect yourself from any untruths, lies, or cover-ups that your spouse may attempt to engage in during your divorce. If you know that you have been asleep at the wheel when managing your family finances, you need to be honest with your attorney about this. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a terrible person or lazy; all it means is that you may have a spouse who has gone out of their way to hide certain things from you. If this situation applies to you, it’s essential to take proactive measures to prevent being exploited during the divorce process.

I would recommend that you have your attorney speak directly to your spouse’s attorney about your concerns. This accomplishes many things. First of all, you may learn more information just from talking to the other attorney. Despite what many people believe about attorneys, we are typically professional and cordial with our colleagues. This means that your spouse’s attorney may be willing to provide some basic information to either corroborate your concerns or dispel them altogether. I’m not saying that your attorney should take the other attorney at their word necessarily, but I am saying that addressing the problem head-on with the lawyer would be a mistake.

Addressing the issue directly with your attorney informs them of the circumstances faced by each party. Your spouse may be unaware of your awareness regarding the hidden financial assets. Being forthright from the outset discourages such behavior and promotes honesty between you, your spouse, and your attorney.

Initiating formal discovery in your divorce proceedings

The next step in the process is to send out formal discovery requests. Discovery is a process whereby you and your attorney and your spouse and their attorney would submit requests for information, documents, and responses to questions related to your divorce. Typically, each party will have 30 days to offer answers and report to the other side if one of you fails to return responses by the 30-day deadline. You can request to have your issues brought before a judge, and the judge can not only require answers be submitted but also penalize your spouse and their attorney for failing to turn in these answers.

Discovery provides an effective means to gather financial information, obtain admissions regarding your spouse’s past dishonesty, and uncover additional asset details. Requesting your spouse’s credit report can reveal relevant debts. This comprehensive approach offers an efficient and reliable way to gain insights into ongoing financial matters.

Once discovery responses have been turned in, you should review the answers for completeness and accuracy. If you suspect for any reason that your spouse is still not being truthful with you should direct questions to the opposing attorney and then set the matter for hearing in front of a judge if necessary. It is understandable for you to be concerned about truthfulness, given your spouse’s history of lying to you. However, that does not mean that they will necessarily continue to lie, especially when they know that there is a possibility that a judge could punish them for doing so.

Preparing for mediation and trial through the discovery process

What the discovery process also allows you to do is to prepare for mediation and a trial. It is most likely that your case will settle in mediation rather than proceed to a problem, but there is always a chance that the case could go all the way to a judge. Mediation allows you and your spouse to utilize the experience of a mediator to help you arrive at a settlement to your case. This means that you all will be able to get an outsider’s perspective on your case who can help create practical and flexible solutions to your problems.

Note that mediation is most effective when all the parties are operating with the same information in mind. Therefore, this puts even more of an onus on you and your attorney to ensure that all financial information is made available before mediation. Without this being assured, attending mediation will not do you much good. Keep in mind that when it comes to financial issues, if you cannot settle these problems in the divorce, it is unlikely that you could ever come back to a family court to reopen these issues.

In conclusion, it’s crucial to address any concerns about an “ex lying about assets in divorce” promptly and thoroughly. By bringing these issues to light during the divorce proceedings, you can ensure accountability for any past deceitful behavior. Keep your attorney informed about your spouse’s actions, heed their guidance, and attempt direct communication with your spouse regarding these matters. Additionally, ensure timely and comprehensive responses to discovery requests. Following this advice can significantly benefit your divorce process, providing you with a clearer understanding of your true financial situation.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

if you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post; please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. I appreciate your interest in our blog, and we hope you will join us again here tomorrow.

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