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Does my spouse have to provide tax returns during divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Divorce, Property Division

Divorce can be a challenging journey, especially when sorting out finances. Many people do not know what the law requires, so having a legal advocate guide you through the divorce process is essential. Tax returns are an issue that can quickly become complex.

Depending on the relationship between the parties, the other side may be reluctant to provide financial documentation. But what if they have to?

Suppose you are going through a divorce in Wisconsin. In that case, both parties must disclose their financial information, including tax returns. The law requires that the parties do this to ensure a fair division of assets and liabilities.

Why tax returns?

Tax returns provide a clear picture of income, deductions, and other financial details crucial for deciding things like spousal support and property division.

So, if you are wondering whether your spouse has to provide a copy of their tax returns, the answer is yes. Your attorney will probably request this information early in the divorce process to try to settle out of court, which is quite common. It is faster and can save you and your spouse significant money.

What else does my spouse have to provide?

Tax returns are not the only document your spouse has to provide. In addition, your attorney will request some or all of the documents below.

  • Information on open bank accounts
  • Bank statements
  • Pay stubs
  • Investment statements
  • Retirement and 401K statements
  • Property deeds and titles
  • Credit card statements
  • Business records
  • Loan documents

The above documents help the attorneys get a clear picture of the financial situation the couple is dealing with and may even give you advice on what to do based on what your attorney believes the court will do.

Remember, full financial disclosure is crucial and fair for an equitable divorce. If you or your spouse hide assets, you could get into serious trouble with the law, so it is important to be forthcoming and honest about anything you have, both assets and liabilities.

Taking the initiative and providing the information upfront, which would be needed during the court process, simplifies things for everyone.

It is always best for divorcing couples to work things out between themselves with the help of their attorneys, so be sure to provide everything your attorney asks for, and if you have questions about something, make sure you ask your attorney as soon as possible.