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The Family Court Will Foil Your Ex-Spouse’s Efforts To Hide Income


So many people underreport their income on their tax returns that the IRS does not even investigate unless the amount of underreporting is truly egregious, such as if someone claims to earn only $30,000 per year yet makes payments on the mortgage of a four-bedroom house and two car loans.  When you get divorced, though, every dollar matters, because of equitable distribution, alimony, and child support.  Even in the simplest divorce cases, couples must present detailed reports of their income, assets, debts, and expenses.  Divorce cases where one spouse tries to hide their assets by titling them in another family member’s name or that of a business are more common than you might expect, but attempting to hide your income or assets always backfires.  If you suspect that your ex-spouse has more ability to pay alimony or child support than they would have the court believe, contact a South Florida family law attorney.

Ex-Husband Pretends to Be in Dire Financial Straits

Jimmy and Elizabeth merged their finances during their marriage, although his income was their only source of financial support.  The parties agreed early in their marriage that Elizabeth would be a stay-at-home parent.  In early 2015, sensing that their marriage was falling apart, Jimmy began accepting payment in cash, and Elizabeth filed for divorce in May.  The court ordered Jimmy to pay temporary support to Elizabeth during the divorce process, but he did not, and he served a brief jail sentence for contempt of court in February 2016.

Jimmy claimed that his income was only $1,300 per month, but he seemed to afford expenses well in excess of that easily; he paid rent and made payments on his car loan and car insurance in addition to paying Elizabeth $370.00 per week, once it came down to a choice between paying temporary alimony or going to jail.  He told the court that he was behind on rent, car payments, and car insurance, although he could not provide evidence of this.  Elizabeth alleged that Jimmy’s girlfriend and his adult children from his first marriage helped him hide money; she claimed that he wrote checks to his children from a business bank account and had them cash the checks and give them the cash.  Jimmy did not have his own bank account during or after his marriage to Elizabeth.  In 2016, when the divorce became final, the court ordered Jimmy to pay Elizabeth permanent alimony in the amount of $370.00 per week.  It also ordered additional findings related to the parties’ financial situations.

In cases where one or both parties get paid in cash, it can be difficult to get accurate reports of income and expenses, but you have the same right as anyone to a thorough assessment of your financial situation for purposes of equitable distribution.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

A Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you if your ex-spouse is vague about how much money they earn.  Contact Schwartz | White for help today.



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