Family Law (Divorce, Family Relations)/Fraudulent financial affidavit
Good afternoon Dan,
I am hoping that you can offer me some advice on my divorce decree. I have been divorced since 2009. During the course of our marriage, my ex started a 401k and his company converted to an ESOP program. I knew these were assets during the divorce and were to be listed. During the divorce proceedings and mediation, he listed on his financial affidavit the 401k only. I informed my attorney of this, as well as his. Somehow, my ex produced a piece of paper that stated his ESOP was at a $0 balance. I knew this was not true. During the course of the attorneys, I asked to review the paperwork my attorney had received. During the review, I discovered a paper that stated my ex had already withdrawn his 401k and was spending it!! So you can imagine my frustration when I had to bring this to my own attorneys attention!! Needless to say, my exes attorney had to start a trust to protect the remaining assets until after the proceedings. My ex accused me of "stealing" his money when referencing the 401k. I knew that he still ha the ESOP and was hiding it somehow. Since the divorce has been final, he has sent me several text messages referencing the ESOP. One read, " you are just pissed because you didn't get your hands on MY ESOP $42k and you NEVER will"!!! And that is about the current balance the last time I knew of his ESOP. In another text he said, " I have rolled over part of MY ESOP into a 401k and have more money than you ever remember"!! My question to you is, can I take him back to court by these texts that he has sent me? Are these proof that he did hide the ESOP? And what would his ramifications be for doing such a thing? I am not out to take him for HIS money, but only what I worked for also. I worked the entire course of our marriage and we chose to contribute to his retirement accounts, as they were more stable and productive? Can you tell me what my options are?
Thank you so much for your time Dan......
Hi Ronda, by your description it is unclear if there was fraud perpetrated upon the court, which could allow the reopening of the case to correct the inequitable distribution of marital assets or if there wasn't due diligence on your part or your attorney's part to discover the true amount of the assets disclosed. A much more thorough review of the case and documents produced during the case would need to be made to properly advise you and you may be limited time wise in bringing an action to reopen the case, usually limited to one year after you discovered the fraud. At any rate retain the text messages received from your former husband as they could prove very relevant to any action you can and may wish to bring.
I hope this information was helpful to you, if it was, please do me the courtesy of rating it. Please be aware and advised that this public forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of legal knowledge. This public forum does not give you attorney-client privilege. You and I have not entered into an attorney-client relationship. I am not responsible for your legal rights and this answer is based solely on the information you have provided in your question and as always, I would advise that you arrange for an in person consultation with an attorney from my firm or another Family Law attorney familiar with Florida Family Law who can analyze the specific facts and circumstances of your case more closely to better advise you. Additional information may be obtained on our web site listed below.
Daniel Bachert, Esq.
The Bachert Law Firm, P.A.
330 Clematis Street, Suite 222
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401