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