This is one of the most common issues raised to St. Petersburg family law attorneys during family law cases by the opposing parties. They know their ex-spouse is hiding assets and overstating their expenses in their financial affidavit, but cannot prove it through documented evidence. Frankly, “they lied on their financial affidavit” is likely one of the most uttered phrases during family law matters. The St. Petersburg family law attorneys of Hackworth Law have heard this from countless frustrated spouses.
Frankly, there are several methods to secure the required evidence and information our divorce attorneys are utilized regarding same.
First, we have deposed many individuals regarding the specifics of their financial affidavit. In our experience, it is very effective to go item through item of the financial affidavit and ask the party about each specific expenses. For example, if someone lists an expense of $200.00 a month for a cellular phone, it is certainly worth inquiring about who provides their cellular phone service, how many phones they are paying for, what their current plan is, etc. Additionally, many individuals will highlight additional inconsistencies in their financial affidavits that previously was not noticed.
It is also very effective to question a party whether they have documented an expense twice on their financial affidavit. For example, many parties will account for the medical insurance multiple times on their financial affidavit. The double counting of expenses can quickly allow people to go from a clear surplus to a deficit which quickly changes the dynamics of the financial aspect of the divorce, including alimony, distribution of assets and claims for attorney’s fees.
Secondly, the St. Petersburg family law attorneys of Hackworth Law have relationship with accountants to assist in digging and analyzing through the mandatory disclosures documents to ensure they match and corroborate the financial affidavit. For example, many times a party will understate the amount in their savings and retirement accounts, while they have a specific amount withdrawn from their monthly paycheck to their retirement account. If a party has $500.00 withdrawn from their monthly paycheck for the last five (5) years towards a retirement account, it is laughable that they would claim they have $2,000.00 in their retirement account.
Lastly, the St. Petersburg divorce attorneys of Hackworth Law have utilized specific, focused written discovery into the areas in dispute. For example, preparing very specific interrogatories and request for productions solely regarding the information in the financial affidavit, like retirement or savings accounts. These specific, focused written discovery requests are both cost effective and very efficient at discovering irregularities in their response.
If you or someone you know has concerns that their former spouse has lied in their financial affidavit, contact the St. Petersburg divorce attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultations. Our attorneys will aggressively and vigorously investigate and analyze the specifics of your spouse’s discovery and financial disclosures. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you during this very difficult process.