Divorce When Your Spouse is Self-Employed
When going through a divorce, there are numerous reasons why you’ll need either your spouse to accurately convey income and asset information to the court, or you’ll need to be able to prove that information to the court yourself. When a spouse works as a salaried employee, information on income is generally easy to prove, as a single W-2 document will show how much one makes and what taxes are withheld. However, when a spouse is self-employed, there are a number of reasons why this information may be more difficult to accurately identify—and easier for your spouse to inaccurately report to the court. Without an accurate statement of income and assets, however, you could end up receiving a smaller share of your marital assets in a division of property, smaller monthly spousal or child support payments, or be forced to support your spouse financially to a greater degree.
There are a number of strategies that, with the help of a skilled Kentucky divorce attorney, you can implement to ensure that you receive fair and accurate treatment by the court when it comes to money. Read on to learn more about how you can prove your self-employed spouse’s income to the court.
Before a split, find out more about your spouse’s professional life: If your spouse has long operated their own business or worked as an independent contractor, it’s possible that you may not know a lot about how your spouse’s business is structured, or what sorts of profits and losses are involved. If you haven’t yet split up, ask questions about how their business is run, and ask to see documents showing the structure and tax returns.
Use evidence of their lifestyle: You may know for a fact that your ex is taking trips or making purchases that would be impossible based on the income they’ve reported to the court. If you encounter evidence of these sorts of expenses, such as on social media, you can use that evidence to show the court that your spouse is not being truthful about their expenses.
Use your knowledge of your spouse’s records to make discovery requests: After the discovery phase of your case is complete, you may be able to tell that certain information is missing from your spouse’s disclosures. Your lawyer can request that your spouse produce these documents, and you can help your lawyer make the most useful requests by telling them what sorts of account or credit card information seem to be missing. The more specific you can make your requests, the better.
If you need trustworthy, thorough, and compassionate legal assistance with your Kentucky divorce, contact the Louisville family law attorneys at Gwin, Steinmetz & Baird PLLC for a consultation, at 502-618-5700.