The amount of your spouse’s income has two significant impacts on your divorce: child support and alimony. While most spouses are forthright about their income, some minimize or hide their earnings in an attempt to improve their outlook on child support or alimony. This is especially true in cases where spouses are self-contractors, business owners, or cash laborers. Here are three legal techniques your legal team can employ to provide an accurate calculation of your spouse’s income:
- Discovery Requests
Discovery requests are written demands to your spouse to produce information and documents. These demands are typically the first technique used by attorneys to obtain evidence about your spouse’s income. Under Nebraska law, your spouse is required to respond to discovery requests and to provide documents related to income. Failure to do so can lead to court fines, sanctions, and even jail time.
If the documents produced by your spouse in the discovery responses are incomplete or misleading, then your attorney has the option to issue subpoenas to supplement or corroborate your spouse’s discovery responses. A subpoena (formally referred to as a “subpoena duces tecum”) is an order sent to a third party to provide documents relevant to your divorce. In the context of spousal income, subpoenas are often issued upon employers to obtain accurate pay stubs or banks to obtain accurate financial statements.
In some cases, there is no documentary trail of spousal income, which means that discovery requests and subpoenas are ineffective. This is especially common when a spouse receives cash income or has sole control over business records. In this situation, your attorney may use depositions to gather evidence about your spouse’s income. A deposition is an interview with a witness under oath, which means that a witness must provide truthful answers or else face the consequences of perjury. To gather evidence of your spouse’s income, your attorney can depose cash employers, business clients, or other persons with direct knowledge of your spouse’s income.
If you are concerned that your spouse will attempt to minimize or conceal income during your divorce, it is important that you work with a legal team well versed in identifying hidden income. Your legal team at Koenig|Dunne has over 70 years of collective experience in gathering evidence pertinent to proving spousal income.