When you face white collar criminal charges, it not only affects you but also your family. Often, there is nothing you can do to make things better.

For the most part, keeping your household running and dealing with the fallout from the charges becomes the responsibility of your spouse. Forbes explains that spouses of white collar defendants face an uphill battle to keep everything together. It is important for your spouse to develop a plan to handle the coming months as you fight your case in court.

Deal with collateral damage

Since white collar crimes are financial, it likely means your spouse should prepare to have assets frozen. He or she may be unable to access any money to handle regular bills or expenses. Your spouse should have a plan in place for how to pay bills and manage expenses when he or she cannot access your joint accounts. Ideally, he or she will have his or her own bank account that you had no access to because the court cannot touch that.

In extreme cases, your best move may be to get a divorce. This will separate your assets and free them up for him or her to use.

You should caution your spouse against trying to hide assets as this could get him or her into legal trouble.

Know your rights

The chances are good that law enforcement will talk with your spouse. Make sure he or she knows that conversations between the two of you have the privilege of marriage, which means these conversations are private and protected.

Make sure your spouse also knows not to talk to anyone about the case except his or her attorney. This includes talking to friends or family on the phone or through other electronic means.

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