February 16, 2014

Financial Dishonesty in Divorce

Dealing with “financial infidelity” during the divorce process

By now, most of Bucks County has spent a lot of time snowed in with their significant other. Valentine’s Day is approaching and our government just raised the debt ceiling – again. At the moment, conditions are not favorable for struggling marriages and recent survey data shows some new insight on the impact of financial dishonesty. Our divorce lawyers know the profound effect of financial dishonesty in divorce; following a few simple measures can help simplify the process when your spouse has been “cheating” on you – financially.

These surveys indicate that we feel financial dishonesty is worse than infidelity. The poll revealed that arguments over money would be a leading cause of divorce, over infidelity (which was a close second) followed by disagreements about family. Certainly times are ripe for disagreements on finances – but many were shocked to see if ranked higher than cheating. Views on spending, saving, who makes the choices and whether or not he or she is being honest can easily tear people apart.

To combat the resulting bi-product of this financial dishonesty in divorce, there are several options that are available for Bucks County divorce cases. These options are critical for the lesser earning or “in-the-dark” spouse who does not handle the family finances. Before making any moves, you should first consult with an experienced Doylestown divorce lawyer.

Tax Returns

Referencing tax returns can provide a lot of free insight into a spouse’s assets. A W-2 will show any contributions to deferred compensation plan or 401K. Mortgage interest and point can be reviewed on the Schedule A form, which exhibits any deductions or refinancing that show any loans, including undisclosed loans which are assets. Look next for a Schedule C to research the existence of a side business, which could have been created to pocket more retirement funds.

Cancelled checks and account statements

A clear sign of financial dishonesty in divorce, cancelled checks and account statements are often difficult to gain access to. If a spouse is able to locate any ledgers online or at the bank, it is easy to find where money has been going or where it has been coming from. Of course, these may not be accessible until later in the divorce process due to the security of personal accounts.

Courthouse & Loan Applications

Any loan applications are of record and contain an itemize list of any assets the potential borrower may possess. Reviewing these documents could show a trove of hidden assets, including the purpose of the application itself.

Discovery requests

Discovery requests are a fairly routine part of the divorce process. Like other forms of litigation, Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents can be served upon a spouse during the divorce. These requests should be thorough and inclusive of anything that can unearth years of financial dishonesty – good or bad.


Subpoenas create a legal obligation for banks to provide exactly what is requested. An experienced Bucks County divorce lawyer will best be able to prepare a subpoena so it is proper in accordance with Pennsylvania laws.

These methods should all be approached with careful consideration depending upon the nature of the individual case. Seeking the advice of an experienced divorce lawyer is the best way to ensure the discovery of financial dishonesty in divorce. Finding untruths, hidden assets, or major deficits can feel like a spouse has been living a lie. It is no surprise that the recent study shows that it has greater impact than cheating – make sure it is handled properly and seek the right divorce lawyer.

Call the Law Offices of Michael Kuldiner, P.C. to schedule your first consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. Call (215) 942-2100 today or complete the online inquiry form and a member of our team will contact you shortly.