Proving Your Financial Case In Divorce Court
When going through the divorce process, there are certain things that will be expected of you regarding your finances.
You're going to have to fill out a financial disclosure form, provide bank and credit card statements to your ex, disclose all of the assets and debts you have, and answer a lot of questions about the money. Your ex will have to do the same thing, but what if they aren’t completely honest about all of the money? What do you have to do to prove your financial case to a divorce court judge?
You need evidence.
If your husband has hidden money or engaged in secret spending (think of things like affairs, real estate you never knew about, drugs, gambling, or other things you never would have approved of), you will need to prove your case in court to get back your money. How are you going to do that?
You need evidence. And the evidence of what your husband has done is right in your bank statements, credit card statements, and tax returns. You'll have to get these records and go through them line-by-line to find the transactions to prove exactly what he did with your family's money. (Don't worry... we're here to help!)
Getting Financial Justice In Your Divorce
You want justice. You want all the money you are legally and morally entitled to. You and your husband built your finances together, regardless of whose name was on a paycheck or on an account.
The financial settlement you get in the divorce is going to take a number of things into consideration:
Assets and Debts: In most states equitable distribution rules mean that your assets and debts are supposed to be divided fairly. Often that means a 50/50 split, but there can be reasons why they might be divided unequally.
It doesn't really matter whose name is on an account. If the account was built up during the marriage, you likely have rights to it. (Unless you have a prenuptial agreement that states otherwise, but that's a whole different discussion.)
Custody and Child Support: One parent is often in the position of paying child support to the other. These monthly payments are meant to cover living costs of the children, but the recipient is not required to show how the money was spent.
Child support is generally going to be calculated based on how much money you and your ex each earn, as well as how much time the children live with each of you. Even if you each have the kids 50% of the time, one of you may still owe child support if you make more money than the other. This is so that the kids don't have vastly different lifestyles at the two homes, just because one makes a lot less than the other.
What if he cheated on me or wasted a lot of money?
You need proof.
Affairs are expensive. If he spent money on a mistress or sex workers, half of that money was yours and you want it back.
If your ex has hidden money or engaged in secret spending (not just affairs, but also doing things like buying real estate you never knew about, spending money on drugs or gambling, or wasting money on other things you never would have approved of), you need solid proof.
You can ask the divorce court judge to give you back your share of that money. But you need evidence of exactly how much was spent.
You know there are financial issues, but you don't have proof.
When you go to your lawyer and say that you know your husband has been hiding money or gambling it away, the first thing he or she will ask is "what proof do you have?"
You're going to need evidence in order for your attorney to fight for your money. It's time to be completely transparent with your lawyer about what you know and what you don't know. Lay out the good, the bad, and the ugly. When it's all out on the table, you and your lawyer can start planning for how to get your money back.
Getting the Proof You Need
Most of the time, when a husband is hiding money or doing some secret spending, he's not very clever about covering his tracks. This is good for you, because it means it likely won't be that hard to find... if you know where to look.
You will need to get your accounts statements and go through them line-by-line to find the transactions to prove exactly what he did with your family's money.
As you review all of your documents, you'll put together a list of transactions that are questionable and a list of transactions that you know are bad, like:
- Transfers to accounts you never knew about
- Payments on secret credit cards
- Spending on an affair partner
- Large or frequent withdrawals of cash
- Payments that you can identify as improper
This list of transactions, along with the account statements will be what you need to prove your case to the judge. The statements themselves are the proof of what really happened to the money, and the numbers don't lie.
Presenting Your Case In Court
Once you have identified all the bad transactions and put together the account statements, you should give this information to your lawyer. He or she will know the best way to present your evidence in court.
But now instead of just saying "my husband is hiding money," you'll have hard proof of it and your lawyer will be able to take action.
Judges have limited time, so you and your attorney can come up with a plan to present the evidence that is the most persuasive and the easiest to understand. You'll stick to the facts so the judge can make a swift decision.
The Divorce Money Guide can walk you step-by-step through the process of getting your account statements, looking for the transactions that prove that he hid or wasted money, and putting together your proof.Learn More About the Divorce Money Guide
I like how there are videos that lay out each step and really explain what the process will be. Although the divorce process itself is overwhelming, the Divorce Money Guide is comforting.
The Divorce Money Guide helped me go into court to face my ex with my confidence. I had my proof and I got my money.
The Divorce Money Guide
This Is Your Key To Finding Hidden Money & Assets
This Guide walks you through everything you need to know to find out exactly what your family's money was spent on and to uncover hidden financial fraud in your marriage.