Ask any expert, like Dennis Boyle, Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer in DC, and they’ll let you know fraud is a serious issue. When it comes up in a marriage, it’s all the more shocking, as it means a betrayal of trust between spouses. You might suspect that your own partner has been engaging in some type of financial shenanigans, but how would you know, exactly? Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the subtle warning signs that could indicate the presence of fraud in your marriage.
The Red Flags Of Fraud
Chances are you’ve already got an inkling of some of the red flags that might point to fraud within a marriage. Just in case, though, here are a few that should stand out:
- Strange changes in normal behavior
- Signs of drug or alcohol addiction
- Secret transactions/lies about secret transactions
- Secret mailing addresses and correspondence
- Unusual amounts of time on the computer
- Concealing computer usage details
- Suspicious cash withdrawals
- Handing out loans without consulting you
- Suddenly becoming guarded and keeping secrets
One red flag is enough to set off suspicion, and if you notice multiple, then it might be time to start looking for answers. In many cases, fraud within a marriage will take place when three factors are present: opportunity to commit fraud, the pressure to do so, and the ability to rationalize fraudulent actions as inconsequential.
Why Spouses Commit Fraud
And what types of pressures can lead a spouse to commit financial fraud? While this list is not exhaustive, Orange County divorce attorney Doris Rogers says that common motivations might include the following:
- Addiction — This doesn’t necessarily have to be a substance abuse issue (though it can be). Any kind of addiction that requires money to fuel can make one prone to committing fraud if they are desperate enough.
- Anxiety — There are times when fraud isn’t malicious, but just a poor decision born from a lack of control over emotions like extreme anxiety. If something sets a spouse down a path of out of control anxiety, they might easily end up hiding things from their partner and heading toward fraud.
- Secret Affairs — Unfortunately (and this is an all too common occurrence), there are instances where one spouse, because they are cheating on their partner, will use fraud as a means to fund their extra-marital activity.
It’s important to remember that regardless of the reasons, fraud is a type of financial infidelity, and calls trust in a relationship into question. If you suspect your partner may be up to something, it’s time to communicate, lest you want the specter of bad behavior looming over your relationship and causing problems in the long term.