Ignorance About Finances Can Leave You Vulnerable During Divorce

st charles divorce lawyerThere is no getting around the fact that divorce has considerable financial implications for both spouses. Going from a two-income household to a one-income household can turn your life upside down. The division of property and debts, spousal maintenance, and child support can also change your financial situation substantially. When starting the divorce process, spouses must consider the role of finances and make plans to prioritize their post-divorce financial wellbeing. For many divorcing spouses, this requires an honest assessment of their financial situation – perhaps for the first time ever.

Do Not Wait to Educate Yourself About Your Finances

Many married couples divide household chores and responsibilities. One spouse handles financial concerns like paying the bills, applying for credit cards, or balancing the checkbook while the other spouse handles non-financial concerns. Unfortunately, being “out of the loop” regarding finances can make you extremely vulnerable in a divorce case. Without being aware of your assets, debts, and income, you cannot make informed decisions during the divorce process. Financial ignorance can also make you blind to financial deception during the asset division process.

Start gathering your financial documents now. Obtain and make copies of:

  • Bank statements

  • Paystubs

  • Tax returns

  • Loan applications

  • Mortgage statements

  • Credit card statements

  • Check ledgers

  • Titles and registrations for property such as vehicles

  • Documents from any business interests, including check registers, profit and loss statements, and payment receipts

Watch for Signs of Financial Deception During Divorce

Whether your divorce resolves via a marital settlement agreement or goes all the way through to a divorce trial, honest, complete financial disclosure from both parties is crucial. Unfortunately, many spouses lie about finances. In fact, one study showed that about a third of married people admit lying to their spouse about money. Hiding assets, underreporting income, undervaluing property, or fabricating fake debts are just some of the many ways spouses lie about finances in a divorce. If you suspect that your spouse will try to manipulate the outcome of your divorce through financial deception, guidance from an experienced attorney is crucial. Your lawyer may use discovery tools like requests for production of documents, depositions, or subpoenas to reveal truthful financial information. A skilled attorney may also work with forensic accountants, appraisers, and other financial professionals to ensure your divorce outcome is based on truth.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

If you are getting divorced and your spouse handled the household finances, you must ensure that your own financial interests are protected. Contact an experienced, knowledgeable St. Charles divorce attorney from MKFM Law to get the legal guidance and help you need. Call 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation.


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