Attorney question> Marriage + hidden money

If a wife suspects/knows that the husband has hidden a great deal of money from the relationship, what legal means does she have to force the spouse to give details.

Can a wife 'sue" her husband ?

I am suing my husband right now…FOR DIVORCE! Part of the reason is that he’s hidden so much money/racked up credit card debt and spent it on his girlfriend. Even if there was no girlfriend, I would still divorce him b/c he’s EMBEZZLED thousands of dollars from our household. In the process of the divorce, he’s being required to provide all kinds of legal documents regarding finances. I can tell you what they are if you’d like to kow. When we’ve determined how much money he has actually spent (or how much of it we can find), I’ll get 1/2 of that sum. That is not just a courtesy on my husband’s part. It’s the legal requiremnet. Those are/were marital assets that he squandered. If he hadn’t, they’d be there to divide now. Since they are not there, he has to repay me for my half.

I do not know how it would work w/out the element of divorce and IANAL. Also, I have no clue what the situation is in other states. Oklahoma is what I’m familiar with.

mmm… fd

mmm I am very sorry to hear about your situation. It must be very traumatic. I hope it ends well and all in your favor…
Apparently, the element of divorce is not a factor in the above scenario
at the present time.


This varies state to state. In Texas, if the assets are from before the marriage (aand are never co-mingled), you cannot share in them. Additionally, if one partner spends everything but $10 (of the combined assets), then files for divorce, you both get $5. There is no penalty for spending before the divorce.

My father is doing just this very thing to his third wife right now. He makes probably $85K per year from his day job and his night job (he’s a partner in a construction firm). He also just recently got a settlement in the neighborhood of $75K from his day job for an injury he had a few years ago. I’d guess that he’s got a bank account somewhere with somewhere around $250,000 in it.

However, he’s got his wife convinced that they’re poor. They live in an ordinary house in a small town down the road from Springfield, and they don’t spend any more than most other families in their neighborhood.

If they ever get divorced (which is likely, considering his track record), she’s either going to get totally shafted or her lawyer will find his stash and she’ll be in for a nice surprise.

You’re already suing him. As part of that suit, he can be forced to give your side any relevant documents such as tax, bank and business records. Often your lawyer can hire what is known as a forensic accountant to go through those records and see if there is any funny business. These accountants don’t come cheap so there better be a good chance of a lot of money being hidden to make it worth it.


That is how it works in Australia and I’m surprised that any jurisdiction would contemplate anything else. If you can be reimbursed for money your spouse “squandered” what are the limits - surely smoking is a waste of money, as is drinking, overeating, vanity, entertainment, gambling…wher does it end?

I’ll assume that divorce isn’t being considered.

I recall from my family law class from a few years back that there was a common law action whereby one spouse could sue the other spouse to provide support. In the case we read, the husband had lots of money but spent very little on the household. The court held that what little he was spending was sufficient to satisfy his legal obligations.

So, I imagine that a wife could sue her husband for such maintenance and try to take discovery on hidden assets. Not sure how a court would look on such a suit.

“Sufficient” ???

The JUDGE DECIDED what was “sufficient”??
My God, that sounds like something out of the 1950/60 s …!!

Dont think I’d wanna be THAT judges wife when he got back home…

Actually, IIRC, the case was from the 19th century. I doubt that the issue comes up much, if at all today. See, IIRC the wife didn’t want to sue for divorce because then she would lose her “elective share” of the husband’s assets. Besides, back then you had to show cause to get a divorce.

Trust me; $85,000/year isn’t a fortune. I imagine that if I lived in Silicon Valley (for example) at $85k/yr., I’d be feeling quite poor. On the other hand, your father doesn’t live in Mexico, right? FWIW, I make less than $85,000/year, but it’s close enough to know that it’s not a whole lot of money (or that I just waste too much of it).

Trust me: $85K per year in rural central Illinois is big money. Not that he’s gonna buy a yacht and eat caviar or nuthin’, but that’s about twice the median family income for Menard County.

OK, I should have been more clear about that… He has to repay 1/2 the money that I can prove he spent on *her, * including: their apartment and its utilities, dates, vacations, phone records and also the *bounced check charges * that were a result of him skimming money from our account and bouncing checks. There’s also the Viagra he paid for out of our account.

mmm… fd

You seem to be suggesting that it’s sexist for the court to decide what’s a sufficient amount of marital support. But isn’t it sexist to assume that the judge is male and has a wife?