It is not unusual for spouses to have very different financial roles in
a marriage, especially if one spouse is the breadwinner or earns significantly
more than the other spouse. One spouse may have a much greater earning
power and the “out spouse” may have very little or even nothing
to do with the couple’s finances.
The “out spouse” may be on a weekly or monthly allowance or
they may have to ask their spouse for spending money. The “out spouse”
may not handle any of the bills, and they may not have a clue as to how
much money is in their spouse’s bank accounts.
When a spouse is on the “outs,” they can feel clueless, helpless,
and even vulnerable as they contemplate divorce. If you’re an “out
spouse,” it can be a real disadvantage as you approach divorce,
especially if your spouse fails to provide you with complete and accurate
financial information. However, by taking a proactive approach to the
unfavorable situation, it is possible to achieve a desirable outcome in your
I’m Not Sure if I’m the Out Spouse
Some married couples are strong partners when it comes to handling their
finances. Both spouses budget together and they pay bills as a team. In
these situations, the spouses are fully aware of their assets and debts,
and how much is coming in and going out each month. With other couples,
one spouse, the higher earner, is the “in spouse” and the
other spouse is the “out spouse.”
Usually, the “out spouse” doesn’t know how much their
husband or wife earns every month, they don’t know how much their
monthly bills are, they don’t know how much is in checking and savings,
and they don’t have access to all of the couple’s bank accounts.
Where Do I Begin?
As the out spouse, you may not have a clue where to begin. And be aware
that once you file for divorce, your spouse may try to hide assets as
soon as they are served divorce papers. Before you discuss a divorce with
your spouse, try to locate the tax returns, mortgage papers, bank statements,
both of your paystubs, and stock dividend receipts. Make copies of them
and keep them at a friend’s house or at your work.
“What if my spouse has hidden all of these statements from me?”
In that case,
contact our firm right away. In every California divorce, spouses are required to disclose all of their
financial information. If an “in spouse” is prone to hiding
assets, it’s possible to freeze marital assets, but this is only
the beginning. There are other tools that can protect you as the “out
spouse” and penalize your spouse for financial misconduct in a divorce
Shocking Things About Divorce