Divorce and False Pretenses Made by a Spouse

At the Law office of David P Schwarz we are experienced Orange County Divorce lawyers who handle an assortment of fraudulent divorce cases. Please call our office for a consultation at 949 735 9266 or via the web. We can also be reached by email at dpslaw66@gmail.com.

A divorce lawyer will help you defend against accusation of false pretenses while getting a divorce. The elements of the crime of theft by false pretenses are: (1) intent to defraud; (2) actual fraud committed; (3) the use of false pretenses to perpetrate the fraud; and (4) reliance on the false pretenses by the victim in parting with property. Often during the divorce a party will commit a fraudulent act upon the other spouse or the community estate and can suffer criminal or civil penalties.

Theft by false pretenses does not require that the defendant take the property. It requires that the defendant use false pretenses to induce the owner of the property to give the property to the defendant. This type of misrepresentation to the other spouse can cause severe financial hardship to the victim spouse who has fully disclosed their finances to the other spouse in good faith.

A divorce lawyer can defend you against the other parties attempts to misrepresent the value of real property and or defend a client against an accusation of false pretenses. The elements of the crime of theft of real property by false pretenses are that: (1) the defendant made a false pretense or representation; (2) with the intent to defraud the owner of the property; and (3) the owner was in fact defrauded.3 The false pretense or representation must have materially influenced the owner to part with the property, although the false pretense need not be the sole inducing cause.

At the law office of David P Schwarz we have assisted in the defense of clients who have been accused of false pretenses while getting a divorce. Often a criminal complaint can occur. Theft by false pretenses is a specific intent crime. The prosecution must prove that the defendant made a false representation knowingly and with intent to deceive. The intent requirement is satisfied not just by an intentional misrepresentation, but also by a misrepresentation made recklessly and without information warranting a belief regarding its truth. Possession of counterfeit items may be used to prove a defendant's intent to defraud.

An Orange County Divorce lawyer can lay a good defense to the others spouses beliefs that their was a false pretense crime committed during the divorce. Because the crime is a specific intent crime, there can be no conviction if the false statements were made in the actual and reasonable belief that they were true. In other words, even if the defendants made false representations but made them in the bona fide belief, based on reasonable grounds, that they were true, no offense is committed. In an appropriate case, the defense may introduce hearsay statements made to the defendant by others when they tend to show that the defendant believed that the representations he or she was making were true.

If intent to defraud exists, subsequent restitution of what was taken is not a defense. At the same time, if the fact that payments were made to the victim after the alleged fraud tends to show that there was no fraud to begin with or no intent, evidence of such payments is admissible.

At the Law Office of David P Schwarz we are experienced Orange County lawyers who can assist you in your defense of accusations of false pretense. Please call our Orange County office at 949 735 9266 or contact us via the web. We can also be reached by email at dpslaw66@gmail.com.