A fair divorce judgment on important issues such as child support, alimony, and asset division can only be made if both parties are utterly honest with their financial disclosure. If you suspect that your spouse is holding back on some information, take measures to prevent the dishonesty from causing you financial damage. Here are three avenues you can take to remedy the situation:
Try the Discovery Process
Discovery is a legal process meant to unearth various facts before the trial begins in a lawsuit. If you suspect that your partner is withholding crucial information from you, you can opt for the discovery process to help you get the information. The discovery process takes place via various channels, such as:
- Interrogatories – these are specific questions printed or presented in an oral manner to your spouse, and your spouse has to answer them.
- Document production – just like the name suggests, your spouse will be asked to produce specific documents, for example, tax returns.
- Depositions – these are sworn statements that your spouse has to make; they are transcribed verbatim by a court reporter.
Request for Imputed Income
If the divorce court concurs with you that your spouse is hiding income or assets, it may come to your rescue by opting for imputed income. Imputed income is the income that you have the capacity to get, and not what you are actually getting. For example, if your spouse is claiming that they don't have a job and only relies on part-time jobs, the court can decide to use imputed income if they believe that your spouse is earning or can earn much more than the reported income from part-time jobs.
Get Preclusion Orders
Lastly, the court can also come to your rescue by getting preclusion orders against your spouse. Preclusion orders are court instructions that prevent someone from offering evidence to refute or support a claim if the party had earlier refused to supply the relevant information during the discovery stage of the case.
Therefore, if your spouse failed to provide the required information during the discovery process, the judge may bar them from offering evidence or testimony to dispute your claims when the issues come up for judgment later. This means you may be able to get your way if you can provide evidence for your claims.
You need to be alert all through the divorce process. If you suspect any fraud or dishonesty, inform your divorce lawyer so they can take appropriate measures to help you.