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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 19012
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I recently got the tax return copy from my ex-husband for verification

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I recently got the tax return copy from my ex-husband for verification of income. He is self employed. He is the physical custodian of our son, however we do have legal joint custody. I currently pay child support to him. I was requesting verification
of his income, because the income he is stating does not match his lifestyle- meaning his outgoing bills are more than his stated income. The tax return copy that he provided stated his "salary" was $10,000 and his S partnership "royalties" in federal return
box 17 was $22,800. I have calculated average bills for him, doing utilities, car, mortgage, cell phone, groceries, gas, etc. and his expenses total more than $1000 more than his net income. My attorney has subpoenaed his personal banking records for the past
year, and we are waiting for the bank to send them. I asked my attorney today to request his business returns as well as his personal tax returns. I was told by my attorney that he is under no legal obligation to supply his business returns. My question is,
is that really true? Considering he is the owner of the business and could write off odd expenditures, or shift profit into a secondary savings or investment portfolio within the name of the company without it showing on his personal taxes, how could his true
income be verified? On his business license, his home address is listed as one of the locations, although he does no work there aside from very little paperwork. I was not tipped off to this 3 years ago during the initial child support hearing because he stated
he was making nearly $48,000, which seemed reasonable. Now, he is stating he is making about $10,000 less, and he has even expanded his business to a larger location, that is why we are going for a modification. He stated he needed to place our son in an after
school program because of change in work circumstances. He has not changed his hours, only his location. And he has only moved his location by 3.5 miles. I feel a bit frustrated because it seems obvious to me that he is hiding money somewhere, yet my attorney
seems like he feels I am nit picking. He stated that in the courts eyes, the pay stubs he submitted, which rounded up to $39,000 was more than his 2012 tax return, so he would look like he was being "honest". I am attempting to push my attorney to get a copy
of his new lease, because it should have an income quote on it. He is in a very expensive location, so I am quite certain the management company would have been hesitant to take a risk on someone making $33,000 a year. I could be way off the mark, but the
math just doesn't add up. Does he, or does he not have to provide those pieces of documentation? Should I keep pushing my attorney to get those pieces of information?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you.
I recently got the tax return copy from my ex-husband for verification of income. He is self employed. He is the physical custodian of our son, however we do have legal joint custody. I currently pay child support to him. I was requesting verification
of his income, because the income he is stating does not match his lifestyle- meaning his outgoing bills are more than his stated income. The tax return copy that he provided stated his "salary" was $10,000 and his S partnership "royalties" in federal return
box 17 was $22,800. I have calculated average bills for him, doing utilities, car, mortgage, cell phone, groceries, gas, etc. and his expenses total more than $1000 more than his net income. My attorney has subpoenaed his personal banking records for the past
year, and we are waiting for the bank to send them. I asked my attorney today to request his business returns as well as his personal tax returns. I was told by my attorney that he is under no legal obligation to supply his business returns. My question is,
is that really true?

Response 1: No, that is not true. His business returns are relevant in the case because you need to determine his business income and expenses to see how much the business is bringing in. His business net income is part of his earnings, which would affect the calculation of your child support.
what Considering he is the owner of the business and could write off odd expenditures, or shift profit into a secondary savings or investment portfolio within the name of the company without it showing on his personal taxes, how could his true income be verified?
Response 2: Your Attorney is wrong. He is legally obligated to provide his business returns
On his business license, his home address is listed as one of the locations, although he does no work there aside from very little paperwork. I was not tipped off to this 3 years ago during the initial child support hearing because he stated
he was making nearly $48,000, which seemed reasonable. Now, he is stating he is making about $10,000 less, and he has even expanded his business to a larger location, that is why we are going for a modification. He stated he needed to place our son in an after
school program because of change in work circumstances. He has not changed his hours, only his location. And he has only moved his location by 3.5 miles. I feel a bit frustrated because it seems obvious to me that he is hiding money somewhere, yet my attorney
seems like he feels I am nit picking.

Response 3: You are not nitpicking. You have legitimate concerns. He needs to be made to account for discrepancies in his business records and tax returns, both personal and business.
He stated that in the courts eyes, the pay stubs he submitted, which rounded up to $39,000 was more than his 2012 tax return, so he would look like he was being "honest". I am attempting to push my attorney to get a copy of his new lease, because it should have an income quote on it. He is in a very expensive location, so I am quite certain the management company would have been hesitant to take a risk on someone making $33,000 a year.
Response 4: You made great point here. All relevant records must be requested. Your Attorney needs to request for production of a copy of the lease from him. If he refuses to produce it, you can either file with the Court to compel him to produce the document or subpoena his Landlord for a copy of the lease.
I could be way off the mark, but the math just doesn't add up.
Response 5: You are not off mark here. You are actually quite on target.
Does he, or does he not have to provide those pieces of documentation?
Response 6: He has to. The documents that you have mentioned are quite relevant and material in your case.
Should I keep pushing my attorney to get those pieces of information?
Response 7: Yes, you should. Without those documents, you are basically going into the modification hearing with your hands tied behind your back. You need to request the documents to show the other side that you are serious and to make him think twice about proceeding with the case.
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