You are involved in a family law case. Maybe you were never married to the other party, maybe you were married to them five years ago, or maybe you are married to them now. Why do you have to turn over bank and credit card statements?
Bank and credit card statements can be relevant to determining issues of child support, income, ability to pay attorney’s fees, and the acquisition and selling of assets. In most situations disclosure is required if the other side formally requests this information from you through attorneys.
What can you do about it? Gather the bank and credit card statements as soon as possible. Not providing this information only generally serves to delay your case from moving forward. If you don’t provide this information know that the court can fine you by ordering you to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees because you didn’t turn this information over.
Most judges don’t like to hear disputes about the exchange of financial information needed to prepare the case for trial. You don’t want to get on the judge’s bad side or give the other side or judge reason to think you are hiding something.
Ask your attorney whether the request for information is unduly burdensome or overbroad. If the request will cause you to incur large fees from the bank or credit card company in order to obtain the information, then you can sign a release so that the other party can request the statements and pay the fees to obtain the large amount of records being requested.
The other thing you should do is compare your income and expense filings with the actual bank and credit card statements. You should take the time to verify that the expenses that you actually pay match up with the expenses you have reported to the court that you actually pay. The same with your income.
If this seems like a tedious job, you don’t have the time to do it, or reviewing all of your own financial information seems overwhelming then this is a good time to enlist the help of a financial advisor, certified divorce financial planner, a good friend/family member, or even a paralegal who works with your attorney to help you compile and review this information.
Last but not least talk to your attorney. Make sure you understand what is being requested and why. Then get to work compiling the information so that your attorney has it and so it can be provided to the other side in a timely manner.