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Discussion Starter #1
After months of back and forth with my husband (we were married a whopping 11 months when he told me he wanted a divorce, tried counseling but I finally realized he wasn't there) I finally filed for divorce after we had been married a year and a half. We live in FL, which is a community property state, so I could have asked for half of anything he obtained while we were married, like the equity in the truck and boat he bought while we were married and his stocks and 401k. I have no equity in my home (bought before we were married) and bought my car in 06. Instead, I asked him to repay some specific things I paid for while we were married, and to pay court costs. I did it partly because I wanted those specific things repaid, and partly because it allows us both to represent ourselves. My husband stated in his financial affadavit that he has no stocks/bonds, no retirement, and no rental property. I know that he has all three. Anyone have any ideas on how I can prove it without hiring the attorney? It will cost me almost half of what I'm trying to get from the ex to hire the attorney.
 

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You were married 11 months; and it would cost you half the amount in legal fees... Did he agree to pay the debts you suggested? If so, why not just let it go?
 

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Also, if I'm not mistaken, even if they're community property states, most states' divorce laws (and judges) will take into account the length of the marriage when dividing up property, assets and debts...

Double check your state laws on it. Because your marriage was so short, you might not have as much claim on those assets as you think.

Normally, if you were involving lawyers, they perform a "financial discovery", in which either side is asked by the other for documents proving income, assets and debt. It's akin to a court order.

So, two questions...

First, what would you actually gain by proving he has these assets?

Second, is it really worth the time, money and mental stress required to prove them?


Pb.
 

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I'd let it go. I agree the judges will likely look at the length of the marriage and you may not be as entitled as you think. Then this becomes a loss situation with legal fees that get you nothing.

Go for one of those free consultations with an attorney. They will know for sure how good your case is.
 

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To me it's the point. I spent 5 years with this guy, between dating, our engagement, and our marriage. We aren't kids, I'm 31 and he's 37. My father and I paid for almost the whole wedding, then 11 months later he tells me he never wanted to marry me to begin with. I believe that's a bunch of BS. I think if he didn't want to marry me he wouldn't have. I think what it came down to was me pushing the issue about him moving two hours from where he was living to my place, which we had started talking about when we first started dating, and having kids.

I think you guys are thinking I'm saying I am entitled to half his 401k, his stocks, his truck, etc. I understand I'm not. I am entitled to half of what he put in his 401k while we were married, the equity he built up in his truck, etc. We were married 18 months. After he first told me he wanted a divorce we tried counseling for a while, then I told him a divorce was fine and gave him 3 months to file before I filed it myself. Florida doesn't have legal separation, so we were considered married for these purposes until the day I filed for divorce.

Even though I don't want the stocks, 401K, etc, knowing he has them are useful to the judge in making his decisions. I have text message records from my STBX saying he will pay me some of it when he can, but no specifics, and I have an email saying he will pay the court costs. Everything else was just verbal. Of course, proving he's lying about his assets it can't hurt my case for trying to prove that he verbally agreed to stuff, either.
 

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Having an email saying he will pay for some things doesn't sound like it will be seen as a valid contract that the court would hold him to, but your best bet is to consult a lawyer on the specifics of your situation.

The main point to this however is that the gain you realize appears like most of it will be eaten up in legal fees. And what's the point of that? Do you really need the relatively small amount of money not paid to the lawyer, or do you just want to make him pay for what he did to you?
 

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I don't know American taxes, but wouldn't all three of those items show up on his tax forms? The stocks and rental properties would show up as income, and wouldn't the money invested in the 401k show up as a deduction? If so, it seems that you should be able to request that document as part of the divorce proceedings; it would be a standard request here in Canada as its used to determine support amounts. And then you would have to point out those items in front of the judge, and ask for supporting documentation for the pre and post marriage values.

C
 

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Btw... Do you know the address of any of his rental properties? If so, property tax records are public information, at least up here. You can get a copy of the title information from the city office for a small fee.

My thinking... If you can prove that he's lying on anything on his affidavit, he's opening himself up to having to do a lot more work to prove the rest of it. Judges don't appreciate people lying to them. If it was me, I would just gather the information you can all together and then expose it in front of the judge. Otherwise he'll just amend his affidavit to include what you show you know.

Have you talked to a lawyer at all? Legal aid? Anyone? Again, up here things might be different, but if you make a reasonable attempt to negotiate and the other party forces you into a legal battle by being unreasonable, the judge can (and often do) award legal costs back to you. So not only does your spouse have to pay what you originally offered, they have to pay for the lawyer that forced them to do it. Kind of a penalty for being an ass. Anyway, a quick conversation with a lawyer might be a good investment, even if you don't use them for your entire divorce process.

C
 

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To me it's the point...

...I think you guys are thinking I'm saying I am entitled to half his 401k, his stocks, his truck, etc...

...Even though I don't want the stocks, 401K, etc, knowing he has them are useful to the judge in making his decisions...
No... what we're saying is, forget the point. Trying to prove points in a divorce is a costly proposition that ultimately gains you nothing.

Now, if it does go to court for the judge to decide, then yes... You want to make sure there is proof of all assets that you can show as evidence to the judge. Just make sure that the time, money and effort that you spend to get that evidence is worth it.

Also...

The courts do not... will not... care about those texts he sent you. They. Mean. Nothing. Until it's written down in a settlement agreement and finalized by the court, he (and you) can change his mind all he wants.
 

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Did you guys file taxes jointly? You'd see on the return all income earned, dividends from stock, rental income, etc. If he didnt declare the rental income tell him you are turning him in to the IRS for the reward money.
 

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Without the benefit of a prenup, the absolute best case scenario that you can possibly hope for, richly given the short span of time that you were actually married; under your states community property laws, only half of those assets that were actually accumulated/earned while the two of you were married would be subject to community division. Additionally, you would possibly be saddled with half of all of the joint debt that was accumulated during that very same timespan.

And for what you would amass in legal fees alone could very well exceed what you might ever expect to gain from a division of those said assets.

Assessment: Just walk away with the shirt on your back and chalk it up to a bad experience. Let him keep the assets and pay the bills, and get your personal belongings out of there pronto! And consider yourself lucky to have learned a very hard lesson!

Best of luck to you!
 

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Since cars are depreciating assets there probably isn't much to get there as far as equity in his truck goes. A judge might look at his 401k contributions during that period --- I don't know.

You need a lawyer's advice.
 

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Did you guys file taxes jointly? You'd see on the return all income earned, dividends from stock, rental income, etc. If he didnt declare the rental income tell him you are turning him in to the IRS for the reward money.
Sorry, Brock! Both the IRC and Agency Rules would restrict her from collecting such a reward since she might well be deemed by them and/or the Court to be a culpable party.
 
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