Is it just to sue over hidden assets discovered after divorce?

This feels like fighting two wrongs to make a right. Short story: wife’s unrepentant multiple relationships discovered over three years made divorce reasonable. It took five years and $70,000+ legal fees to get judgement, joint custody that she fought.

This time last year, awaiting final divorce decree, she’d moved across country with our son (who was cowed to move with her), and secured a $500,000 mortgage on a new home. I knew she had siphoned at least a few thousand dollars from our joint earnings over the years, and over $100K of hidden assets was discovered in court. Even with that, her disclosed financials would not have qualified for mortgage, so there were additional hidden funds.

She destroyed our marriage, did her best to alienate the kids, and resisted joint custody in the divorce she had been planning for years (it was revealed), and pocketed likely 100s of thousands of dollars. She’s living comfortably now and I still owe $40K in legal bills. That money could have paid for college costs.

QUESTION: I don’t want revenge and seek to forgive, but should I also seek to reveal her fraud in court for at least justice sake? I have until April to file a suit.

Thank you for your faithful input and thoughts.

I would.

And I would use it, as you said, for my children’s college.

I would as well. What you would be asking for belonged to both of you, not just her. You have a right to ask for your share. I don’t see that it makes any difference that you are doing it after your divorce. Justice needs to be served. If you had known before the divorce, you would have brought it up then.

May God bless you and guide you.

I am sorry you had to go through this. The amount of stress and sleepless nights must have been awful.

What do you hope to gain? Is the first question that you need to ask yourself.

I can agree with seeking justice but some times justice comes at a cost. Not only financially but physically and emotionally. I am sure your wounds are starting to heal, are you prepared to reopen those wounds? How will starting back down this path affect your kids?

I can not imagine the pain you have gone through but I was in a similar business partnership situation. Through prayer I was able to calm my anger with the situation. The Lord convinced me, actually it was more like getting slapped in the back of the head, to walk away from my 11 year business, which I owned 33% of. I left the business with nothing and start fresh on my own. Sure times have been tough and I don’t get a lot of time off work, being on my own, but I have forgiven them and I am at peace with the new path the Lord has sent me down. It is now 12 years later and I would never trade the peace, I now have, for all the money I walked away from or the justice of getting back at my partners that wronged me.

Take Care,

I said a prayer for you.

The title of the thread asks about justice.

Justice is giving someone something that belongs to them by right. An injustice is when we deny someone something that belongs to them by right.

Money is isn’t the only thing to consider.


Yes, I think you are justified in suing your former wife for any assets she hid in your marriage. It was fraud and deceit on her part. I would pay for a consultation with an attorney and balance the return on investment (ROI) of time and expense and likelihood of recovery of the cash assets she may have hidden, being careful and selecting a wise attorney.

I personally feel that the Gospel passage about being sued for your coat, “give him your cloak” as being misinterpreted to mean we can never seek remedies. Many times we need the courts to help us restore and hold justice and order in society. Also, Jesus told the parable about the widow and the wicked judge-The widow continued to say “give me justice” until the judge granted her request.

Does anyone have additional input about interpreting this passage, as sometimes I feel also that court is justified? I am a new Catholic and enjoy reading and interpreting the scriptures.


Seems like a legal/business decision. Like renegotiating a contract.

The wife sounds like a certain family member that I would love to name but charity is telling me to be discreet. She also destroyed her family while extorting money not only from her husband but from her mother and father-in-law. She charged rent from her boyfriend for 40 years after she kicked out her husband and got 100K in the sale of a house of his. Sexual immorality usually goes hand in hand with serial fraud. A house that was supposed to have been a home, only turned into a conduit for money for herself.

She built up a formidable savings all these years on the dead bodies of anyone she has come into contact with, now sitting ALONE in a posh assisted living, the second half of her 8th decade, complaining over the phone that she has “nothing”. I told her if money is love, she doesn’t have love but she probably didn’t appreciate the irony of her actions proving that money is a poor substitute for it. This is all she has left, her precious bank account, since most of her family can’t stand the sight of her. If it is possible to project an image of what a person will end up, riding wholesale on the feelings of others, this should serve as a warning, but probably won’t be heeded when riding high.

The ONLY thing that these people understand is FORCE. They are gobsmacked afraid of being exposed and that is precisely the reason why it should be done, to stop a serial killer, as it were. Buoyed up by success, they go after more prey. You have to prove, in my opinion, to your kids that there are consequences to anti-social behavior. The sons of this woman, by the way, learned from the best and also tried to get away with swindling.

In my opinion, it is right and just, if you don’t have to become bankrupt yourself in doing so. You can PM me if you want to compare notes.

To forgive means to release from debt.

When you forgive someone you ask nothing in return for what they have done to you. One who has been forgiven owes you nothing.


I am not sure the OP is asking about forgiveness.

Tim, how would you answer if the wife wrote the thread asking if she should give money back to her ex-husband?

Where is her “forgiveness” toward her ex-husband? She doesn’t appear to have any, and now her ex-husband should just forgive her and move on after she cheated/stole from him? That doesn’t seem right.

I don’t think that forgiveness means giving a person a blank check to do what they want when the rights of others are involved who stand to lose or being further abused. This concept had been twisted in my family of origin in order to whitewash the continuing abuse by one person. Anyone who spoke out was castigated.Their silence or collusion further encouraged the woman to run riot over more victims and was in turn emulated by her sons. (This reminds me of the recent ruling exonerating the misdeeds of Planned Parenthood. The whistle blowers are guilty, not the perps.)

It is important to set an example of justice and convey the message, particularly to young people that anti-social behavior is not acceptable and there are negative consequences for it.

Well said.:thumbsup:

Certainly its just. She stole from you - and the children since you would be using the funds to support them in college etc. You’re not seeking revenge or punishment, simply the just allocation of assets to rectify her fraud.

Now, on the practical side, is it a good business decision? As someone else said, you need to weigh the costs of pursuing it in terms of not just cost, but also emotional wear and tear on yourself. By her dragging this on by committing fraud— you can’t put this all in the past, you can’t put a finish to the divorce. Also-- there is always a risk you’ll lose and you’re already in 40k debt. How much is the likely cost and how much would you recover? Putting emotion aside, spending another 30k to recover 40k doesn’t seem like it would be worth the effort. A rock solid case to recover 100k at the cost of 20k might make sense.

Thank you for the prayers! You ask the right two questions. Gain and pain.

There is a part of me I fight that just wants to expose her behavior! I have fought VERY hard against “gaining comfort” by sharing details of her awful personal behaviors with our children or people who know us. This is not reciprocal, and what I hear are mostly lies.

Prayer and prayers from others is what gets us through these times. Thank you and bless you!

Tim, I think the converse works, too, “receiving something that belongs by right or giving something that does not belong by right.”

Definitely, money is not the only thing to consider.

One can forgive the wrongs committed in the marriage and not be owed anything else regarding the marriage. That is separate from being defrauded and seeking redress from the fraud.

When one forgives a wrong, a person isn’t necessarily forgiving all wrongs past and future that the person may commit.

Tim, as repeated insults and slander toward myself, to friends, family and my children have occurred over the years (and continue), I feel the anger, let it go, and implement forgiveness as giving up righteous retribution. Thus, my dilemma here.

I am a lawyer.

A few things to consider:

  1. Fraud is very hard to prove in court and usually requires you fulfill a higher burden of proof (clear and convincing as opposed to simply preponderance of the evidence);
  2. You don’t know how much in damages you may be able to recover until you get a judgment, IF you get a judgment;
  3. Pleading fraud requires that you give specifics, as to the how, what, when and how much (and it doesn’t sound like you have these specifics);
  4. All litigation comes with burdens, whether you win or not. I am not talking about legal fees and court costs either. Regardless of how righteous your position may be, you will have to deal with the stress, anxiety, lost time, and general “bad feelings” that these proceedings inevitably result in;
  5. The system is far less than perfect and justice is never assured; and
  6. The system is bias in favor of females in these types of cases (sorry, but that is simply the fact).

Food for thought.

My opinion is no, I would not sue. Your child at least has a nice place to live while with his or her mother. Maybe your ex needs this money to make her house payments. Would you want your child to go through the stress of being evicted from his or her home?

I can’t imagine how a wife could hide this much money without her husband noticing, unless the husband has very poor money management skills. Is it possible that she already had this money before you were married? If so, it would probably not count as joint property. Is it possible that she got it from a boyfriend?

I would just concentrate on improving my money management skills, my investment skills, and concentrate on paying down my debt. I would try to be thankful that I was not married to this person any more and have as little contact as possible.

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