Be careful when checking on your spouse's financial situation


When Nevadans see divorce in their future, many begin to do some due diligence to determine just what their and their spouse's financial situation is. They also may want to find out just what assets and liabilities their spouse has. This is particularly true for people who believe that their spouse may assets they don't know about.

One seemingly-easy way to find this out is to get a copy of your spouse's credit report. You probably have enough personal information about him or her to order it as your spouse. However, you could find yourself in some serious legal jeopardy if you do that. That's because it's illegal to order someone else's personal credit report -- even your spouse's -- unless you have what's known as "permissible purpose." For example, a potential employer or lender would have permissible purpose.

If your spouse owns a business, you would be able to get a credit report for the business. Of course, if someone really wants to hide money, there are ways to do it. One thing that the recent "Panama Papers" corruption scandal brought to light was large number of secret corporations domiciled here in Nevada -- over 1,000. Those are just the ones revealed in the leaked documents.

If you have reason to believe that your spouse isn't going to truthfully disclose his or her finances in the divorce, you may want to hire a forensic accountant who can properly investigate. In the meantime, you need to get a copy of your own credit report to ensure that it's accurate and continue to keep an eye on it during and for awhile after the divorce. You'll be purchasing things on your own, and you'll need good credit.

If you want to find out your spouse's true financial situation or if you believe that he or she is (or will) do something to harm your credit or take money that rightfully belongs to you, it's essential that you discuss this with your Nevada family law attorney. He or she can work to help you protect your assets and to get a fair settlement.

Source: Money, "Can I Check My Soon-To-Be-Ex-Husband’s Credit While We Are Getting Divorced?," Gerri Detweiler, April 20, 2016

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