Don't Be the "Out" Spouse


Pasadena divorce lawyers often remark that divorcing couples typically have an "in" and an "out" spouse. The "in" spouse handles most of the family's financial decisions. He or she pays bills, controls discretionary spending, and makes important decisions regarding how money is invested or saved for future needs. The "out" spouse knows little or nothing about the family's financial health.

Sometimes this arrangement is by choice and sometimes it is due to one spouse desiring control over the other. Either way, the arrangement can have serious consequences.

If you're unhappy in your marriage or worry that your spouse is considering a divorce, being the "out" spouse places you at a huge disadvantage. If you have no idea how much your family earns and spends, it's easy for your spouse to hide assets or to accumulate thousands of dollars of marital debt without your knowledge. To get a fair shake in the courtroom, you have to be fully informed regarding your income as well as your savings, investments, and retirement accounts.

If your spouse won't answer your questions about the family finances, you can request your own copy of your tax return from the IRS. You can also file a credit report request on your own. Meeting with a financial planner to go over these documents can help you better understand what issues you will need to be aware of if you or your spouse decide to file for divorce.

Taking an honest look at your finances can be scary if you've spent most of your married life delegating this chore to your spouse. However, knowing where you stand financially is essential to making sure you're able to properly take care of yourself regardless of what the future holds.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you need legal representation during your divorce. Our experienced Pasadena divorce attorneys can answer your questions regarding issues such as child support, spousal support, and the division of martial assets.