Income & Expense Declaration & Deliberate Falsification during Divorce
I have a very strong feeling that my spouse has intentionally falsified some of the figures on his income & expense declaration. What should I do?
Attempting to prove a spouse or parent is lying on the income and expense declaration can sometimes feel like a large undertaking. In our experience, the motivation for a spouse to falsify their information relates to their desire to pay less potential spousal support and child support. On the other side, spouses expecting support can falsify their declaration as well in attempt to gain larger amounts of spousal support.
The first thing to do is to seek the advice and guidance of experienced family law attorney. This is a very important initial step. Trying to prove the deceit your own isn’t ideal, nor effective. Under the guidance of an attorney, you won’t have to rely solely on the income and expense declaration to get the information you need.
With an attorney, you’ll conduct what is called, “discovery”, which is a formal request for information from your spouse. Discovery includes a request for production of documents, “interrogatories” (which are either a form or specially drafted questions), requests for the spouse or parent to admit to certain facts, and even taking the other spouse or parent’s deposition (a live question and answer session under oath). In addition, subpoenas can be issued to employers, banks or other persons to acquire information.
Another effective tool in complex cases is the use of a forensic accountant experienced in family law. Some forensic accountants are court appointed while others are privately retained. No matter which route you go, it’s something to bring up with your attorney as another option.
The above methods are the most effective and common ways of exposing false info on an income and expense declaration. We’re not relying on what the other person claims to be the truth – with the help of an attorney, you’re essentially forcing them to prove the true figures.