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Surprise divorce papers may be culmination of long-term plan

Being served divorce papers without warning can leave anyone reeling. But as hard as it may be to accept, it is very possible that your soon-to-be ex-spouse has been planning the split for some time. And if this is the case, it would not be surprising if he or she has also been hiding assets in an effort to keep them from being divided in the settlement.

But how could such a thing happen? How can someone to whom you have dedicated your life turn out to be so duplicitous? Well, the fact is, there is no telling when your ex began engaging in misleading behavior. It could have started years into the marriage or not long after you both said, "I do."

It is important to understand that such maneuvers on behalf of a spouse are not uncommon. And the manner in which such behavior develops can be summarized by the so-called "Fraud Triangle," a hypothesis developed in the 1940's. According to the Fraud Triangle hypothesis, there are three elements present when a person who has no history of criminal activity chooses to commit fraud. These elements are:

  • Rationalization. The perpetrator rationalizes that he or she is a good person who is trapped in bad circumstances.
  • Pressure. The perpetrator is motivated to commit a fraudulent act, typically for financial or social reasons. And he or she believes there is no one with whom to confide about the problem.
  • Perceived opportunity. The perpetrator believes he or she can commit the fraudulent act without getting caught.

So while you may be feeling dazed and confused about a sudden, strange turn of events, you still have to look after your own interests. If you suspect that your ex is attempting to conceal valuable assets, a Texas family law attorney may be of service. By utilizing a variety of investigative tools, the attorney could search for hidden assets and help you get an appropriate settlement.

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