Skip to main content

Can I file criminal charges on my ex-wife for claiming to be my wife in order to make changes to an insurance policy in my name?

Houston, TX |

When my ex - wife and I bought a house her credit was bad so the mortgage and deed was in my name only . She was awarded the house in the divorce . She told my she was going to cancel the homeowners policy and get one in her name . She never did this . The policy automatically renewed every year . She remarried about 2 years ago . About a year ago she called Liberty Mutual under her new last name claiming to be my current wife and made changes to the policy . 6 months ago she sold the house , canceled the policy and closed her back account that liberty mutual was drafting from for the policy . 2 months ago I received a collection notice for the balanced that was left on the policy . She is now refusing to pay the balance owed .

Attorney Answers 4


Actually, it is prosecutors who file charges. Because this situation flows out of a divorce, my suggestion is that you first arrange a brief visit with a family lawyer who also does some criminal law to see if you are on solid ground based on all the facts and circumstances. That lawyer can advise you better on whether to go to the police.

While anyone who is a crime victim can call the police, I am not fully informed about this situation, so I am not going to even guess about whether what you describe was a crime under all the circumstances.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.

Mark as helpful

6 lawyers agree


This sounds more like a civil matter. I would send her a certified letter demanding repayment and informing her you'll be filing a lawsuit for the payment if she doesn't make it within thirty days. You can probably file this case yourself in a JP court.

Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at for more information about her services and recent victories.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree


It is appropriate for you to contact your local police department and male a report. If they are unwilling to act, you can attempt to file a private criminal complaint . Good luck.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree


It is the Harris County District Attorney's office that actually makes the decision to file criminal charges in Houston. Basically, you will report the crime to the police, they will do a police report and contact the intake division at the District Attorney's office to see if they will accept charges. I can't think of a criminal charge out of the fact pattern you provided though. In this case the first thing you will want to do is look at the divorce decree/order to see if it addresses this issue. Consult a family law attorney of you have any additional questions. The insurance company is most likely coming after you because your name was still on the insurance policy. Collectors will always go after the signatory first. Hopefully, there is something in the divorce decree and the record of the payments made that can be used to support your claim. You may have to proceed to civil court, most likely small claims if the claim is under $10, 000.00, to bring a suit against your ex-wife. Or if you are sued by the collection agency, you may have to sue your ex-wife as a third party as part of your defense strategy.

The information provided above, by Mr. Defreitas, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Mr. Defreitas does not offer, nor imply that he intends to offer, legal advice or counseling to any individual or organization by providing this information. The information provided above, by Mr. Defreitas, is provided on an "as-is" basis without warranties of any kind either express or implied. Mr. Defreitas makes no warranties or representations of any kind concerning any information contained in this website. You should not rely or act upon any information contained herein for any purpose without seeking legal advice from a duly licensed attorney competent to practice law in your jurisdiction.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics