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Protecting against financial fraud within divorce

Achieving a fair distribution of marital assets is a primary focus within most Texas divorce cases. For most couples, this is an easily attainable goal, and spouses negotiate a division of wealth that suits the needs of both parties. For some, however, dividing marital wealth will pose a significant challenge within divorce, and it may be complicated by the efforts of one party to hide assets from the other.

It can be difficult to determine if one's spouse is making a full and honest disclosure of all marital assets. This is especially true if the family owns a business or has amassed a significant level of wealth. A more complex financial standing makes it easier to conceal assets, and more difficult to uncover those omissions. When one spouse has not played an active role in the family's financial matters, that party is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to uncovering acts of fraud.

For spouses who suspect that their soon-to-be ex may not be providing an accurate picture of the family's finances, the best course of action is to secure the services of a forensic accountant. These professionals are trained to comb through a family's financial records to search for areas where fraud might be indicated. These records include tax documents, business financials, investment accounts and personal banking statements. Any time that there is a discrepancy or missing information, the forensic accountant knows to dig a little deeper.

The outcome of the division of marital wealth will have an impact on a spouse's life for many years to come. As such, attaining a fair division of marital assets  pursuant to Texas community property laws is imperative. For Texas spouses who are concerned about the risk of fraud within their divorce case, it may be time to discuss bringing on a forensic accountant to join one's divorce team.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Financial Fraud and Divorce", Oct. 2, 2015

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