Reviewing bank account statements during divorce

By Stephen Bence -

Reviewing bank account statements during divorce

During a divorce process, each spouse is required to complete full financial disclosure using a standard form, the Form E. One of the standard requirements of the Form E is to provide details of all bank accounts, and one year’s worth of statements for each account.

Bank account statements can be a treasure trove of information. When I am reviewing them I am typically considering the following:

Hidden accounts Are there transfers to or from other bank accounts that don’t appear on the Form E?

Large payments out Are there payments to unidentified destinations? Do these indicate 'parking' money on another individual until the divorce is over? Or the existence of a previously-unknown mistress? Or a gambling habit?

Large payments in Are there receipts from unidentified sources? Do these indicate an undeclared job or a 'forgotten' bonus? Or perhaps dividends from undeclared investments?

Overall expenditure Does the expenditure bear any relation to the expenditure budget provided with the Form E? If not, have the differences been explained?

Missing pages Has the full year of statements been provided? If not, then this can often mean that the spouse is trying to hide a transaction that exposes non-disclosure.

Once bank statements have been reviewed, we have the opportunity to pose questions to your spouse. Those might include requests to provide missing statements, details of hidden accounts, and explanations of large payments in/out of the accounts. If there is evidence of, or reason to believe there has been, non-disclosure, then we can ask for more years of bank statements.

Sometimes everything can be fully explained, but sometimes enquiries like these reveal substantial undisclosed assets and income.

For more information on non-disclosure, click here

If you would like to know more about the issues covered in this article, Vardags offers a free consultation to qualifying individuals.

Our confidential enquiry line is staffed 24 hours, every day of the year. Call 020 7404 9390 today.

Stephen Bence

As Chief Executive Officer, Dr Stephen Bence is responsible for driving Vardags’ growth. In 2015, Vardags was the only law firm to feature on The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100, as the 46th fastest-growing company in the United Kingdom, and in 2016 Vardags was named by the FT as one of the 1000 fastest growing companies in Europe.  The firm now has the largest divorce team in the country and now offers a broad range of legal services to high net worth individuals and their companies.