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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20030
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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My wife has recently served me with a complaint for divorce.

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My wife has recently served me with a complaint for divorce. We have been married for a little over three years. We have one child, a son, to whom I've been a stay-at-home father. Acrimony is increasing as is par for the course. A year or two ago, I cashed a check of hers with her permission for household needs; a few others were cashed as well. She was aware of these check. She has threatened to press charges against me for forgery and check fraud. Whether or not I signed her name on one or more of these checks, should I take this seriously or will this be viewed as a domestic matter, since we are currently in divorce proceedings?

Thank you for the information and your question. Although these are serious allegations, since there has been a delay in reporting this and if your version of the facts (that she knew and tacitly agreed to you signing the checks) is believable when and if this was reported to the police, then it is unlikely that the prosecutor's office is not likely to want to go forward with a prosecution of these charges, even if you technically signed as her. These checks cases are very difficult and time consuming to prove and without an admission on your part (which you would definitely not want to make a statement), they would have an even harder time proving the case.

So, again, although this might be a valid legal issue that could complicate your life and thus be a matter for consideration in your divorce negotiations, it is not highly likely it would be prosecuted. But it could.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Since, I was a stay-at-home parent, she had written me a number of checks for bills and living costs.

Hypothetically speaking, would it be smarter to refute her assertion altogether or to claim she gave her permission for me to sign? Could she claim that her signatures are actually mine and attempt to prosecute? It seems a flimsy threat, tantamount to a police officer pulling you over for speeding you did a year ago. She's trying to intimidate and bully me into agreeing to certain concessions in a proposed shared parenting agreement.

Sorry about that, I didn't get a message from the Site that you had responded and just happened to glance at it. We seem to be having some bugs. Anyway, as I mentioned, if I was your criminal defense attorney I would tell you not to say anything at all. Nothing you can say to law enforcement can help your case. They are not in the business of helping you, they are in the business of building cases. So, unless you have a criminal defense attorney who recommends that you speak to the police, then you should not say anything to her, or anyone else who is not your attorney, about the facts of this case.

Ultimately if there were charges, then your attorney could decide what tactic to take. If she actually signed the checks, then there is no criminal issue here. In other words, you haven't forged anything. She would somehow have to say she signed blank checks and you stoled them, which could never be proven. On the other hand, if you signed her name, then that is technically a forgery, however, as I mentioned, highly unlikely in these circumstances it would be prosecuted. But again, no statements should be made. Especially one where you acknowledged you signed or used the checks at all.

As for the delay, it really isn't the same thing as a police officer with a speeding ticket. That would not be legal since the officer has to ticket at the time they observe. This is very different, there is a longer statute of limitations and as long as the State meets that, they can prosecute many months, and sometimes years, after the criminal act.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your prompt response.

You're welcome and best of luck to you.
Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and thank you for your business. It was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue in the future, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.