Financial transparency is crucial to the divorce process. Spouses can only divide their shared assets and debts when they fully understand what they own and what they owe. Spousal support and child support calculations require an accurate understanding of each spouse’s income.
If one spouse is not being truthful about his or her income and assets, it can have a major impact on the divorce settlement. The innocent spouse may be ordered to pay more support than he or she can truly afford, or may end up with a smaller share of the marital property.
If you believe your spouse is lying about income and assets, there are steps you can take to uncover the truth.
There are many ways that a spouse can try to hide income and assets during divorce. Some common methods include:
Hiding money in offshore accounts
Transferring ownership of property to friends or family members
Underreporting income from a business or other source
Failing to report gifts or inheritances received during the marriage
Overstating debts or expenses
There are several signs that may indicate a spouse is not being truthful about his or her financial information. These include:
Sudden lifestyle changes during the marriage, such as upgrading to a luxurious home or car
Unusually high credit card spending
Large deposits into a bank account with no explanation
Evidence of cash transactions
Having a suddenly higher or lower income than in the past
Making large gifts to friends or family members during the divorce process
To get a complete picture of the marital finances, you will need to collect financial documents from your spouse. These may include tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, and records of any property owned by either spouse. If your spouse is self-employed, you may also need to request business records.
Divorce attorneys often work with forensic accountants who can be crucial in uncovering hidden income and assets. These professionals can review financial records and look for patterns that may indicate fraud or deception. Attorneys may also use discovery tools such as depositions and interrogatories to obtain information from a reluctant spouse.
If you have reason to believe your spouse is not being truthful about his or her finances, it is important to take action early in the divorce process. By working with an experienced divorce attorney, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive a fair settlement.
If you are getting divorced and you believe your spouse is hiding money or property, lying about expenses, or otherwise falsifying financial information during your divorce, contact our Naperville divorce attorneys for help. Call J. Aldrich Law, P.C. at 630-953-3000 for a consultation.