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The pain of financial infidelity

April 15 has come and gone, but as any accountant can tell you, tax problems can linger far beyond that point on the calendar. For couples who divorce, tax problems are unfortunately “surprisingly common,” said a family law attorney recently in an article on taxes and debt.

The problem in many divorces is that one spouse neglects to pay taxes they owe, dragging their former partner into a case of “financial infidelity,” the lawyer said.

He said in far too many cases, one spouse is not honest with the other in the course of their divorce; lying about their income or their accrued debt. In many situations, those back taxes or debts follow the responsible spouse, sometimes because of a court ruling that puts 50 percent of the tax liability on the responsible spouse’s back and sometimes because a court rules that the spouse who has the greater income is financially responsible for paying off the entire debt (even if it was incurred by the other party).

The results of the financial infidelity and court rulings can mean a tax lien against your house or a bank account being frozen or your wages garnished, mainstreet.com says.

Perhaps worst of all is that in some cases, the financial betrayal is deliberate. The irresponsible spouse will run up debts or refuse to pay taxes, knowing that his or her spouse will have to foot at least part of the bill when they divorce.

If you suspect your spouse of financial infidelity, be sure to discuss the details of the issue with your Las Vegas family law attorney. Together you can then discuss ways to protect your assets and your future, as well as other important aspects of divorce including spousal maintenance, child custody and child support.

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