During the divorce process, you’ll need to list your individual assets and debts, credit card balances, income information, and possibly even a monthly budget. Some states also require past tax returns and W-2s.
Gathering the Financial Data
One route to get this information is by logging into your various bank and credit accounts online and getting statements. If you do not have an online login username and password, you can contact the bank, creditor, or other company to get one, as long as your name is on the account. Your efforts here are a perfect start to your education on paying the bills as well.
Requesting the Financial Data
However, if your spouse is trying to hide assets or is blocking you from information, you may need to try other methods. Initially, you will submit a formal request to your spouse called a “Request for Production of Documents”. This allows you to see your spouse’s financial information, but your spouse can also provide legal reasons as to why they do not wish to produce this information.
If they refuse to provide the information, you can use the court to require them to supply it. A “motion to compel” means that the court will order your spouse to give you access to the financial information. If your spouse still refuses, the court will take legal action against him or her, including fines, sanctions, or even jail time.
If you don’t want to wait for your spouse to provide the information, you can get a subpoena to a third party that also has access to the financial information. Examples of that third party are your spouse’s bank, financial accountant, or credit card company. You can also get a deposition subpoena which requires the third party to testify about your spouse’s finances under oath. If you are going a route that requires a subpoena, request for production of documents, or a motion to compel, you will need to hire a lawyer to help you.
If you have any questions about your divorce, schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys, or you can attend one of our divorce workshops, which take place on the second Saturday of every month.