News was made in June 2012 when a man sued his ex-wife over her collection of shoes. Yes, her shoes. News outlets such as ABC News reported that the husband and wife finalized their divorce three years ago with a settlement, and now the husband is claiming that pursuant to their settlement he is entitled to 35% of the value of the wife’s shoe collection. Her collection consists of over 1,200 designer shoes and is estimated to be worth $1 million. The husband claims he did not know of the extent of her shoe collection and she did not disclose it during their divorce.
The story made the news because of the oddity of an ex-husband suing his ex-wife over her shoe collection, but the lawsuit is also a reminder of an important piece of the divorce process. That is the discovery process, whereby each party to the divorce requests the financial information of the other. Usually this is done by the parties’ attorneys. The attorneys will prepare a thorough set of questions and requests for documents, geared toward having the other side disclose all of their assets. Because the equitable distribution of a couple’s assets is a key aspect of divorce, the parties must comply with the other side’s requests. If not, they face sanctions from the court.
While the case that made the news involved a dispute over shoes, it is not uncommon for disputes to arise over checking accounts, retirement funds, and childcare expenses. Issues arise when a bank account is switched to a joint account upon marriage, and also if one spouse empties out an account after the parties separate. It is also not uncommon for a spouse to hide certain assets, such as income that he did not report on his latest income tax return.
Whether the dispute is over shoes or more traditional assets, having an attorney to handle your divorce is a key to making sure you get your fair share of marital property. The divorce attorneys at Petrelli Previtera Schimmel are well versed in gleaning all the necessary information for equitable distribution. Please contact us if you are contemplating a divorce or have already started the process.