Ask a Family Divorce Lawyer: Do I Need to Disclose All My Finances During a Divorce?

When you file for divorce, you will need to fill out a lot of paperwork to submit to the court. From financial disclosures to evidence for at-fault divorces, all of these documents must be submitted properly and promptly. The best way to file for divorce without any delays is by hiring Houston’s top family divorce lawyer, who can answer all questions you may have about the divorce process

Ask a Family Divorce Lawyer: Do I Need to Disclose All My Finances During a Divorce?

One of the most crucial elements of filing for divorce is including financial disclosures or a summary of all your financial accounts and assets. In general, you will need to disclose all of your finances during your divorce, including accounts you may have opened separately. For example, if you opened a bank account solely in your name to prepare for your divorce, you will still need to include these bank statements so a judge can assess your financial situation.

The reason all finances must be disclosed during a divorce is that your financial situation may have a great impact on how certain elements of your divorce are handled. Your finances will reveal your earning ability, assets, properties, debts, and liabilities. All of this information can influence financial support arrangements after the divorce or can be factors in property division.

What Happens If Finances Are Hidden?

If one spouse hides finances, this can have major consequences in a divorce. Hiding assets or moving shared assets to a separate hidden account before a divorce is usually considered to be in contempt of court. For this reason, it’s very common for judges to punish this behavior by ordering one spouse to pay another’s legal fees or even ordering higher spousal support payments.

To be clear, hiding finances during a divorce is illegal. When you submit your financial affidavit to the court, you are signing a legal document with an oath that you are being truthful and providing all financial information. Breaking this oath can have a great impact on how the rest of your divorce is handled. For example, some people who hide finances during a divorce may have their claims about at-fault grounds for divorce dismissed. It’s in your best interest to be honest about your financial situation.

How Can Your Lawyer Help?

When you are working on your divorce case with Houston’s top family divorce lawyer, you should tell your lawyer if you suspect your spouse is hiding finances. Whether you think your spouse was hiding finances during the marriage or in preparation for your divorce, your lawyer will likely recommend hiring a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst to conduct a forensic financial analysis. This will ensure that no finances are hidden.

Why Else Might You Need Houston’s Top Family Divorce Lawyer?

If you and your spouse have high assets that need to be divided, you will likely require expert help from a divorce lawyer and even financial analysis to divide shared assets fairly. Learn more about how an experienced divorce attorney can help with your divorce. Some of the most common reasons include the following:

Child Support

The financial situation you and your spouse have after your divorce will have a great impact on child support. While the court will generally award primary custodianship to the parent who represents the best interest of the child, this doesn’t always mean that the child will be in the custody of the highest-earning parent. Instead, child custody will be awarded to the parent who can give the child the best emotional and physical care.

However, taking care of a child is a financial burden that can’t be overlooked, which is why a judge will likely order child support. Child support is calculated based on the needs of the child and a percentage of income from the parent who does not have primary custodianship. All finances need to be disclosed since this will have a direct impact on child support payments.

Spousal Support

Similar to child support, spousal support payments are also calculated based on a percentage of income from the spouse who has the highest-earning wage. A lawyer can help you prove to a judge that you will need financial assistance after your divorce. For example, factors such as lower earning ability or primary care of the children will fortify your request for spousal support.

Property Division

You will also require the help of an experienced lawyer when you need to divide shared property, assets, and debts. Depending on the circumstances of your assets and your divorce goals, a lawyer can help you negotiate for the assets you want. For example, if you want to keep your home after your divorce, your lawyer can help you trade other assets of equal value in your divorce agreement.
Regardless of how well-off you and your spouse are, it’s imperative to disclose all of your finances in your divorce paperwork. Hiding financial accounts, properties, and other assets is considered illegal and will have consequences.