Baltimore, MD asked in Divorce for Maryland

Q: I'm going through a divorce & I just discovered that my wife for the first 8years of the marriage she committed fraud

We got married in 2004 & unbeknownst to me we were living in section 8 housing & she was using her maiden name to obtain benefits

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: You need to be careful about how you use or report this information. You benefited financially from this fraud, by way of subsidized housing. How do you explain having such low housing expense all those years, without knowing the reason for it? If you received a benefit you were not entitled to, even if you didn't receive it knowingly, then you still owe the money back. Pointing fingers at your spouse will not be a defense. You also need to evaluate what effect a criminal prosecution and financial fines and penalties imposed against your spouse (and potentially against you who benefitted financially from the fraud) will have on the allocation of assets and liabilities in any future property division, as well as support issues (alimony, maintenance, child support, etc.), since any such financial burdens imposed upon her will reduce her income and assets, which affects your potential financial rights. This is the sort of thing you need to discuss in private consultation with your divorce attorney, and not be too quick to pursue an act of revenge or punitive retaliation. The name of the game here is what is in YOUR and your family's best financial and legal interests.

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