In the majority of divorces that we see, one spouse has greater financial resources than the other. This, accompanied by the emotional toll of a relationship breakup and child custody decisions can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Divorce makes its way through every aspect of your life from social, familial, spiritual, emotional, legal and financial. The first step in decreasing the stress is to consult and hire a reputable divorce attorney. The absolute worst thing you can do is to wait to get legal assistance. The longer you wait, the more stressful the divorce will be and the harder it is for your attorney to fully represent you and protect your interests.
A key factor in making sure the playing field is equal, is by proving your soon-to-be ex has more financial resources than you do. The best way to do this is by documentation and proof. In some situations, a spouse lies about assets and debts. A spouse lies to minimize or hide assets or income and sources of income. It is not uncommon for that spouse to try to underestimate the amount of a spouse’s contribution to the household and misrepresent how joint funds are used. It is important to try to gather as much information as possible. This information is best in documentation of each type of asset and debt. During a divorce, spouses are usually required to disclose information about their assets, income and debts. The more documentation you have, the better your chances of proving your spouse is lying. Documentation can be in the form of bank statements, income tax returns for the last several years, financial statements, stock information, bills of sale, monthly credit card statements, mortgage statements, retirement and/or pensions account statements, check stubs, household bills, and any other form of proof about an asset or debt. This information allows us to compare the information your spouse provided the courts to uncover any discrepancies.
As your divorce attorney, we will request the information from your spouse through formal discovery techniques. This allows us to ask your spouse to produce the documents. Discovery also allows us to ask him or her questions pertaining to assets and financial resources that he or she must answer under oath.
In some cases, we will help you hire a private investigator to aid in proving that your spouse is lying on his or her financial disclosure. Many private investigators have access to special databases that can help discover financial interests in assets and businesses. The private investigator may also find it necessary to conduct surveillance in order to find out where your spouse goes and to see if he or she has any other asset interests that are not disclosed as a part of the divorce process.
If a spouse is lying about assets, he or she is committing perjury, which is punishable by law. If we can successfully prove that the spouse is lying, the judge may order sanctions against the lying spouses and could order the entire interest be given to the innocent spouse.
You get one shot at making many of these decisions, so it is important to make sure you have all the resources necessary to help you with those decisions. If it is proven after the divorce that the spouse is lying, we can take him or her back to court and ask for a modification to the order or appeal the decision, but this can be challenging, so it is best to discover as much as possible before the divorce is finalized. When you hire Kevin Hickey Law Partners, we will make every effort to help you with those decisions and find any financial discrepancies. We will also coach in the best way to represent yourself in court. It is only human nature that a spouse’s emotions can get the best of him or her especially if you add deception about financial resources to the mix. It is best to maintain your composure and not engage in arguing and acting inappropriately. When you hire Kevin Hickey, you get more than an attorney to represent you in court, I will be with you every step of the way during the divorce process.