How to Ensure Your Spouse Declares Their Wealth During a Divorce

Divorce is a stressful and expensive process, and one area that can quickly become contentious is the division of assets and financial responsibilities. In New Mexico, both parties are required to be completely transparent during financial disclosures. However, it is not uncommon for individuals to suspect that their spouse is not being entirely honest.

New Mexico’s financial disclosure requirements

During divorce proceedings, Rule 1-123 disclosures [1] are made by both parties to establish what property or debt there is to be divided and to determine how to calculate child or spousal support. Rule 1-123 enables the courts to make an accurate assessment of each individual’s financial situation and promotes transparency and cooperation, easing the divorce process, shortening timescales and reducing costs. The ultimate aim of Rule 1-123 is to enable low-cost financial disclosures without the need for full discovery.

Making a full disclosure under Rule 1-123 requires each party to disclose their assets, income, liabilities and expenses during divorce proceedings.

In most cases, married couples will have a joint pool of money, shared assets, and individual bank accounts and retirement accounts. Some self-employed individuals will have separate accounts for managing their business income and expenses, while some high-net value individuals may have more complicated accounts or assets. If spouses are not honest with each other through marriage, the risk of mistrust during divorce increases.

How to overcome mistrust and attain clarity

The first step in reaching a position of trust and clarity is to ensure that you are supported by an experienced practitioner of divorce law in Albuquerque. Your attorney will listen to your concerns, make recommendations tailored to your particular circumstances, and support you in lawfully accessing your spouse’s financial information.

Your attorney will use a discovery process [2] to request information and evidence pertaining to financial matters from your spouse. They can use this process to obtain bank statements, tax returns and records of asset purchases and investments. By sourcing this type of supporting information, it is possible to validate or expose gaps in your spouse’s Rule 1-123 disclosures and to gain a more complete financial picture than what is typically disclosed via Rule 1-123.

Seek professional support

If you or your attorney believe that you have identified discrepancies or inconsistencies in the information obtained through the discovery process, they must be highlighted as soon as possible so you can obtain the missing documentation or information from your spouse.

If your spouse is unwilling to remedy or explain the inconsistencies you have identified, you may wish to employ the services of a forensic accountant to help you uncover any hidden income or assets or seek help from the courts. This can be a costly process but will be worthwhile if you suspect that your spouse is failing to disclose assets with a considerable financial value.

Enforce compliance through legal action

If you are convinced that your spouse is not fully disclosing their wealth, you may need to enforce compliance through legal means. Your attorney will file a motion with the court compelling your spouse to deliver the requested financial information. Should they still fail to declare all of their wealth and this information later becomes evident, they may be sanctioned by the court.

Make your own financial plans

If the trust between you and your spouse has been eroded to such a point that you no longer believe the declarations that they are making during the divorce process, one of the most important things you can do is to put your own finances in order.

If you cannot rely on your spouse to provide for you and your children in the manner in which you believe they ought to, you must work with your attorney and any other professionals deemed necessary to develop a strategy for obtaining missing information, dividing known marital assets and securing your own financial future post-divorce.

In conclusion, you will need to pay careful attention to the information supplied by your spouse during divorce proceedings to ensure a fair outcome. Hiring the right attorney will ease the process, and taking proactive measures to secure your own financial future is vital for achieving a good outcome. To discuss your divorce or hire an experienced divorce attorney, contact the Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer today.