In a family law setting, spousal support, also known as alimony, may be issued in certain divorce or separation cases. Normally, spousal support may be required when one party is more financially stable than the other. Also, a support award may be more forthcoming where one party has contributed in certain ways to the relationship, such as acting as a homemaker, providing career/educational advancements, or contributing property during the relationship.

What Is Spousal Support Fraud?

Spousal support fraud is where a person intentionally presents false information in relation to spousal support payments. This can occur in a wide range of possibilities. The party receiving spousal support may often engage in fraud in order to obtain more monthly payments. Or, the party paying the support may often falsify information in order to pay a lesser amount.

What Are Some Examples of Spousal Support Fraud?

Some examples of spousal support fraud include:

  • Falsifying income levels
  • Fraudulent tax information
  • Hiding assets during a divorce trial
  • Mixing other information, such as child support or business property issues
  • Placing an incorrect valuation on property or assets
  • Lying on the income and expense report provided to the court

Penalties for spousal support fraud may include payment of damages, or criminal penalties associated with fraud. These may involve criminal fines or even jail time, especially for white collar crime like tax-related fraud.

How Is Spousal Support Fraud Proven?

Spousal support fraud may be proven using a number of different sources. These sources include prior support statements, tax returns, income and bank statements, wage stubs from work, and shopping or traveling receipts. In addition, witness statements or admissions from the defendant can also be used in order to determine liability for fraud. Most fraud cases require the assistance of a lawyer.

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Proving spousal support fraud can often be difficult to do. This is because spousal support fraud can be difficult to detect in the first place. You may need to hire a family law lawyer for help with spousal support issues. Your attorney can review your claim to help determine whether or not a spousal support order is being followed. They can also help you file a legal claim with the court if needed, and can represent you during the process.