ARE YOU THE ‘OUT SPOUSE’ AND DON’T EVEN KNOW IT?

Businessman separates the wooden puzzle with a picture of money

Have you ever heard of the “Out Spouse?”  What about the “In Spouse?”  No, we’re not referring to them as social status; they are actual terms used in divorce. The In Spouse (which I’ll refer to as IS) is known as the individual who controls the household finances. They tend to write the checks for bills and transfering funds to savings or investment accounts.  The Out Spouse (known as an OS) is just as it sounds- they are out of the loop and unaware of the marital finances and assets. We find that the OS is typically the lower-income earner in marriage or doesn’t hold a job. For instance, in some cases, a stay-at-home mom may not know as much about the household finances as the working father.

As you may imagine, there are more complications when you’re the OS because you do not have immediate access to financial documents or even bank accounts. When the IS withholds critical information, it can cause a complicated and anxiety-inducing situation during a divorce. You need an experienced attorney to handle it! Our lawyers at McCririe Law have over 35 years of experience in divorce law, and we can help you navigate through your divorce and remedy being the “Out Spouse.”

HIDING ASSETS

Many spouses will not share the financial information of a marriage because they are hiding assets or even separate bank accounts. This is particularly common with narcissists. In their mind, the opposing spouse mustn’t know these monetary items exist to exert control over their marital situation. The good thing to know is that a qualified attorney can request information about your finances from your soon-to-be ex-spouse through various tactics.

DISCOVERY

One process to help assist an Out Spouse is called “discovery.” The Divorce Discovery Process allows an attorney to completely understand what your spouse may (or may not) own. Through this process, attorneys may discover any hidden assets or get an answer to any pressing questions the OS may have. For instance, as an OS, you may wonder if your husband/wife has savings accounts at an unknown bank. An experienced divorce attorney will get you the answer to this question.

DOCUMENT DEMANDS

Your attorney can ask the “In Spouse” to send them documents, such as tax forms or financial or banking information through document demands. This way, both parties can access information to discover hidden financial accounts and assets. The opposing party must legally respond to this request, so there is no way for them to escape or get around this obstacle.

INTERROGATIONS

Interrogatories are a series of questions sent to the opposing party. This discovery tool allows attorneys to have questions answered in writing to see what assets the In Spouse may have and answer any pressing questions about the divorce case.

REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION

request for admission is another discovery tool that attorneys use to uncover more of the situation at hand. Requests for admissions are when an attorney serves documents requesting the opposing side to answer questions under the threat of perjury, admit or deny a statement. For example, an attorney might ask: What is the balance on any mortgages or liens?

DEPOSITIONS

A deposition is a discovery process where attorneys will ask the opposing party questions while under oath. Attorneys ask questions related to the case in depositions, such as assets or even substance abuse. Depositions are done when other individuals believe they have witnessed or know specific information about the divorce case.

We understand that not knowing your marital finances is concerning. While being the “Out Spouse” may make you start to panic, if you retain a qualified divorce firm, like McCririe Law, they can maneuver the discovery process. A good lawyer will guide you on your path back to financial independence- with all of your assets owed to you.

If you are concerned that your spouse is not forthcoming with financial information and you’re facing divorce, please get in touch with our office at 810-229-6167.