Your Family Matters

What records can my spouse request during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2021 | family law

Divorce can be a lengthy process, especially when you and your spouse disagree on how to divide your assets.

Having a lawyer on your side gives you a layer of protection as you discuss how to coordinate your divorce with your spouse. While the communication can be cumbersome, there is security in having your attorneys do the talking.

As you move forward, you and your spouse’s respective lawyers will need several documents as you work on negotiating your divorce. While it may seem like your spouse is prying, some of these records are necessary to evaluate your combined assets and how to divide them.

Here’s what you should know about the documents and records you may need to provide during a divorce.

They need some access

While it may seem intrusive, there is a certain amount of access your spouse (and their attorney) will need to move through the divorce proceedings. Your spouse’s attorney may ask for documents such as:

  • Financial records for your business
  • Personal financial statements
  • Statements for assets like boats, cars and vacation properties

As you work on settling your divorce agreement, these documents can help your attorneys and the court determine how to divide your assets.

You will need to work closely with your attorney to ensure your documents’ security and how your records are presented to your spouse’s lawyer. Giving your spouse too much information or more than they ask for can make the settlement process more complex.

Keeping the information confidential

Often, the part that makes spouses nervous about granting access to financial records is the idea that the other spouse could use the information against them. Whether you have nothing to hide or a substantial amount of information you want to keep secret, you may still want to keep the contents of your records private.

It is essential to consider a nondisclosure agreement for your divorce. The contract should include guidelines for access to your records and what happens to any copies (digital or paper) after the divorce is finalized. A nondisclosure agreement should also address what will happen if your spouse makes an unauthorized disclosure of your personal information.

Minimizing risk

Keeping your records secure is an essential part of maintaining your life and lifestyle after your divorce. It is critical to take an active role in understanding what information your spouse needs and what is not necessary for your situation.

When a request seems unusual, it is vital to talk to your lawyer about the security of the document and how necessary it is for your spouse to have access to it. While the attorneys have an obligation to keep information confidential, your spouse may not take the same consideration.