Proof of Income If Self-Employed
One of the most important issues in a divorce or custody dispute is showing your income—and ensuring that your spouse accurately portrays his or her own income. If your spouse has a traditional, salaried position with a single company, then challenging their disclosures to the court regarding income will most likely be straightforward and easy to disprove with use of a W-2 or tax returns. However, when a spouse is self-employed as an independent contractor, or that spouse operates a small business, knowing whether their income disclosures are complete and accurate can become much more challenging. Having more ambiguous income sources can also provide opportunities for disingenuous spouses to conceal income from the court. Learn more about evidence you can use to prove a spouse’s income below.
Use the discovery process
If a spouse is straightforward about his or her income and makes a complete financial disclosure to the court, then you may not need to demand through the discovery process that they turn over voluminous financial records. If it appears that your spouse’s disclosures are inaccurate or incomplete, however, you should let your attorney know so that they can request financial records through discovery. Tell your lawyer about any credit cards or bank accounts you can remember your spouse having, or the means of recordkeeping software they used, so that the document production requests will be specific.
Ask questions about your spouse’s business
If you are still living with your spouse and have not yet initiated divorce proceedings, ask questions about your spouse’s business if you aren’t already familiar with how it operates. Find out what sort of profits it produces, and ask to see documents showing how it’s structured, so that you’ll have a better idea of what you should expect your spouse’s disclosures to look like when the time comes.
Evidence of your spouse’s lifestyle can be useful
It can be very frustrating to hear a spouse tell the court that they’re penniless when you know for a fact that they just bought their new partner a lavish gift or stayed at an exotic five-star resort on a recent vacation. If you can find a way to prove that your spouse isn’t living the sort of life that would be supported by their claimed amount of income, this would be valuable in proving to a judge that their disclosures are not credible. Check to see if your spouse’s social media accounts include photos that could be helpful.
If you’re facing divorce in South Carolina and need legal assistance you can trust to diligently represent your interests, contact the compassionate and dedicated Spartanburg family law attorneys at The Cate Law Firm for a consultation, at 864-585-4226.