My soon to be ex is lying about money – financial infidelity. Divorce is never a pleasant process, and the emotions associated with a broken marriage can influence both spouses to make inadvisable decisions. In all contested divorces, and many uncontested divorces, both spouses must sign a financial affidavit. By doing so, the spouses swear under the penalty of perjury that they are not lying about money, telling the truth about their finances, and are not holding back any relevant financial information. The court uses the spouses’ financial data and accompanying affidavits to make determinations about dividing assets. It is crucial, from the standpoint of fairness and justice, that the information provided to the court be accurate and complete.
From time to time, a soon-to-be ex-spouse lies to the court about their finances. They usually do this in order to minimize the value of the assets they have to hand over to the other spouse, or to reduce child support and alimony payments. Marital finances can be incredibly complicated, making it easier for a savvy spouse to manipulate the details during the divorce process. Because of the incentives to lie, spouses and attorneys need to be extremely vigilant when it comes to detecting misrepresentations and deceptions from the opposing parties.
Use the Discovery Process to Find Financial Misrepresentations
When one spouse refuses to voluntarily turn over some financial information to the other party, the latter party can ask the court to require the disclosure of that information during the discovery process. You should notify your attorney if you believe your spouse is withholding or misrepresenting financial information. Discovery is a pre-trial phase, during which both parties are required to turn over to the other side most information that may be relevant to the case. There are some exceptions, such as documents that are privileged or confidential. A spouse’s attorney can use the following discovery methods to get accurate financial information from the other party:
1. Document production: An attorney can request that the opposing spouse produce a variety of documents, including account statements, financial records, tax returns, and loan applications. This information can clear up any omissions or misrepresentations.
2. Interrogatories and requests for admission: During discovery, an attorney can submit a list of questions, called interrogatories, to the opposing spouse, which he or she must truthfully answer in writing. In addition, an attorney may also make requests for admission, meaning the spouse must admit or deny the truth of a statement under oath.
3. Depositions: A deposition is a sworn out-of-court testimony. Depositions are conducted under oath, so if a spouse lies, they can be charged with perjury.
4. Motion to compel: If the opposing spouse is uncooperative during the divorce process, your attorney can file a motion to compel further responses to your discovery requests. The court can then compel compliance by your spouse, or even impose sanctions, such as fines.
What to Do if You Are Going Through a Divorce
If you are anticipating or are in the middle of a divorce proceeding, you should contact a family law attorney immediately. An attorney can review the facts of your case and provide you with advice and guidance regarding your concerns.
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