Divorce Lawyers In Brooklyn – Know Where The Money Comes From In Your Marriage
If you’re going into the divorce process, there are two terms you will become familiar with very quickly: “monied spouse” and “non-monied spouse”. The “monied spouse” is the spouse who makes all or most of the money in a marriage. The “non-monied spouse” is the spouse who makes none or least of the money in a marriage. With very few exceptions, the “monied spouse” is required to pay child support and spousal maintenance to the “non-monied spouse” for a pre-determined duration of time.
Unfortunately, a common problem for the “non-monied spouse” is a lack of knowledge of the family’s finances. Regardless of whether you are the monied or non-monied spouse, however, it is important that you have at least a general idea of your family’s finances before you enter into the divorce process. Divorce lawyers in Brooklyn advise that lack of at least a general knowledge of the family’s finances could ultimately impact your child and spousal support award or obligation, among other things.
Because most spousal and child support awards are based on a statutory formula that a judge will simply plug into a calculator made specifically for purposes of determining support, both incomes, relative to each other, will directly determine how much the non-monied spouse is likely to be awarded in his or her divorce, and how much the monied spouse will likely be obligated to pay. Divorce lawyers in Brooklyn say that this is important information for both spouses to know because it could help to lower payment obligations for the monied spouse, or increase payments to the non-monied spouse.
At the very minimum, a spouse should have copies of the most recent tax returns for their spouse, as a court generally sets the incomes for both parties based on the most recent year’s tax return. However, divorce lawyers in Brooklyn suggest that the more information you can obtain, the better, as the most recent year’s tax return will not always be the best predictor and/or historical accounting of your spouse’s actual earnings.
If a case is highly contested, and/or one spouse has a history, for example, of hiding or dissipating marital assets, subpoenas of bank accounts and other financial statements can be obtained to help the court determine an award of equitable distribution when one spouse refuses to provide documentation evidencing same, or if the court or your divorce lawyers in Brooklyn have reason to believe that your spouse is not being entirely truthful in his or her disclosure of these assets.