Gathering Digital Financial Data in a Divorce

In the modern era, most people do their banking entirely on digital platforms. Cash transactions have become rare, and consumers tend to use credit or debit cards instead. This creates an extensive set of records that may prove useful for divorcing spouses in North Carolina, especially in the context of property division. Gathering this financial data is therefore important for those who wish to determine crucial details about the marital estate. A qualified, experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina can help spouses gather this evidence in an accurate, efficient manner.

What Kind of Digital Financial Data Do I Need?

Although online banking information is perhaps the most obvious example of financial data, there are many others. When gathering digital financial data, the first step is to determine where this data exists. The information may be scattered across numerous online platforms, programs, apps, and storage solutions. Here are a few examples of financial data that may be crucial for divorcing spouses:

  • Tax returns
  • Payment information
  • Bank account statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Mortgage statements
  • Investment/brokerage statements
  • Crypto wallets
  • Retirement asset statements
  • Life insurance statements
  • Family business data
Where Do I Find This Financial Data?

As previously noted, your financial data may exist across a wide range of different platforms, apps, and programs. Here are a few examples of where you might want to search:

  • Online banking platforms
  • Online payment platforms
  • The IRS e-Services platform
  • Your online credit card platform
  • Online mortgage platforms
  • Online brokerage accounts
  • Crypto exchanges
  • Online retirement asset accounts
  • Online life insurance accounts
  • Accounting programs, such as Quicken, Quickbooks, or OneNote

Note that despite the fact that this financial data may be digital in nature, there is no guarantee that it will be available online. Sometimes, spouses store important financial data on offline hard drives rather than on the web. While cloud storage is becoming the preferred method for many spouses, some may intentionally choose to store data locally for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most notable potential reason is to conceal assets from their exes. This is particularly common in the crypto world, where it is theoretically possible to hide vast amounts of cryptocurrency on a simple hard drive.

How Do I Gain Access to Financial Data?

In many cases, spouses will have shared access to various forms of financial data. This may be the case if spouses share bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, and so on. Shared access may also be possible for spouses who file joint tax returns. However, this access is not always guaranteed, and spouses may need to take additional steps to ensure that they receive as much digital information as possible about the financial circumstances of the marital estate.

One of the most obvious ways to seek greater access to financial data is through the discovery process. During this pre-trial phase, spouses are legally required to share as much information as possible with each other. This may also be referred to as “financial disclosure.” Spouses who conceal information during this pre-trial phase face serious consequences.

In addition, spouses who pursue collaborative divorce are also expected to share financial data as they negotiate their separation agreements. Although this discovery phase is less formalized, it is still considered a requirement. If financial disclosure does not occur, then the resulting separation agreement may not be considered valid or enforceable in the eyes of the court.

Who Can Help With Gathering Digital Financial Data?

In the modern era, digital financial data may exist across numerous platforms, including those that spouses may not have considered. There is no shortage of online payment processing apps such as Zelle, PayPal, and Wise. Cryptocurrency adds a completely different element to the equation. Facing such complexities, spouses may wish to get help from divorce attorneys in North Carolina as they seek to gather as much financial data as possible. Forensic accountants and other experts may also prove useful.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Divorce Attorney in North Carolina?

If you have been searching for a qualified divorce attorney in North Carolina, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous divorcing spouses in the Tar Heel State, and we have considerable experience with property division, high-net-worth divorce, and complex assets. Book your consultation today to begin gathering crucial financial data and approach the property division process with a measure of accuracy and confidence. Your post-divorce financial security may depend on your ability to gather data, so book your consultation today to get started.