A common issue in contested divorces is a spouse hiding income or understating their income to gain an unfair advantage. Most often, this situation occurs when one party is self-employed. I highly recommend hiring an experienced family law attorney if you are facing this situation. In the meantime, here are some suggestions:
1) Review the business records from years prior to the divorce. Often, the older records will be more accurate as the transactions were recorded before the marriage was undergoing strain. Compare the current information with the older records. Look to see if there are significant changes in the revenue, profits or expenses. Red flags to look for are large increases in expenses or reductions in reported cash.
2) Review the lifestyle of the other party. If there is a monthly loss reported on his or her financial affidavit, then look to see if there is revolving credit card debt. If not, then the claimed deficit is likely inaccurate.
3) Additionally, make sure all bank accounts are accounted for. Review the bank records for transfers to undisclosed accounts.
4) After reviewing the business records, consider a deposition to question the other party about the purported change in business income.
Making a diligent inquiry into this issue is important as current income will impact the alimony and child support awards. Contact me if you suspect your spouse is underreporting their income in your divorce case. For more questions about family law matters, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-531-9132.