Part of the divorce process involves separating the couple’s finances. Assets must be split and each spouse’s income must be determined for purposes of awarding spousal and child support. Before these decisions can be made, both sides must disclose their financial records. While in most cases this isn’t an issue, sometimes one party may not want to provide all documentation or may not understand what they are required to share under the law. If you are getting a divorce, our divorce lawyers in NY will help you understand a few things you need to know about obtaining financial records.
What Financial Records Do You Have a Right to Obtain?
You are entitled to financial records related to the marriage including bank, retirement and investment account statements; mortgage and loan documents; credit card statements; insurance policies; wills; trusts; deeds; title certificates; tax returns; employment and business records and other relevant documents.
How Far Back Can You Request Financial Records?
While you have a right to any documents concerning transactions during your marriage, generally, you should request records for the last three years. If you have been married for less than three years, then you can get documents covering the length of your marriage.
If the records you receive show evidence of fraud, misappropriation or waste of marital assets, then you can go further back in time. In that instance, you may also want to hire a forensic accountant to investigate your spouse’s financials and determine the extent of any problems.
Why Is It Important to Obtain Financial Records in Divorce?
When dividing assets such as a business, you must know how much the business appreciated during the marriage. Financial records are essential to determine this.
Financial documents are also necessary when determining spousal or child support because these are calculated as a percentage of income. Notably, you will continue to need information from your spouse even after divorce to verify income for support purposes.
What Should You Do If Your Spouse Refuses to Hand Over Financial Records?
If your spouse refuses to provide the documents, you can get a court order to compel them to do so. Further, if necessary, you can subpoena third parties with relevant information, such as accountants, financial advisors, employers, and financial institutions.
Contact A Divorce Lawyer In NY
If you are considering divorce or think your spouse is, start gathering documents and consult our divorce lawyers in NY to help protect your rights. We can advise you on what to do and assist you in obtaining a positive outcome in your divorce. Contact us for a consultation.