The income of your spouse is one of the main factors that a judge will consider when he or she is determining who much alimony you should receive. Unfortunately, some people attempt to lessen their obligation through unscrupulous means. If you are seeking alimony from your spouse and believe he or she is trying to avoid paying a fair amount, here is what you need to know.
How Can Your Spouse Lessen His or Her Obligation?
To lessen his or her financial obligation to you, your spouse might attempt to lower his or her income until after the court order is finalized. Depending on the methods that are used and how dogged you are in getting a fair amount, there is a possibility that your spouse could be successful.
There are several ways that your spouse could lower his or her income, but one of the most commonly used means is to find a lower paying job. He or she could even quit working altogether and attempt to live solely on his or her savings until the divorce decree is finalized.
Your spouse could also attempt to hide income from the court. For instance, if he or she has rental property that you are unaware of, you might miss out on receiving a share of the profit from it.
Another method your spouse could use is to ask his or her employer to delay any bonuses or other financial rewards that he or she is scheduled to receive. The funds could be held until after the alimony order is completed.
What Can You Do?
It is up to you to prove that your spouse is hiding income or attempting to deceive the court about his or her earning capacity. One way to do this is to hire a vocational expert. The expert will add to the overall cost of your divorce, but his or her services could prove invaluable in your pursuit of a fair settlement.
The vocational expert is to basically evaluate your spouse's work history, education, and skills to determine if he or she could be earning more than the current income. The expert will even consider the current job market and create a detailed analysis that proves your spouse is deliberately earning less.
You can also hire a forensic accountant. He or she will review you and your spouse's tax records and other financial documents to determine if there are hidden assets.
Your divorce lawyer can help you find other ways of proving to the court your spouse's true income before an alimony order is issued.