January Journal Continued . . .
It was time to put my support team together. After loads of research I learned there was such a thing as a Certified Financial Divorce Advisor. That was exactly what I needed. I was still working on the hundreds of interrogatory questions and needed help, especially with the financial portion. And so I hired a Renee, and asked her to review our taxes since, when living abroad, were very complex. Scott’s company had provided the firm KPMG to prepare them annually. And I had many, many questions.
The role of a Certified Divorce Financial Advisor (CDFA) is to assist the client and lawyer how the financial decisions made today will impact the client’s future. And, after divorce how to best position your assets.
Back when we lived in Puerto Rico, Scott told me that KPMG had miscalculated our taxes as part of the tax equalization process and we owed $60,000. I was shocked. That was nearly our entire savings and we supposedly had to pay that money back to The Company. In all the years since, it never sat right with me. Our taxes had always been around just a few thousand dollars that we either owed or received in return, not $60,000! And the check for the payment was written to our local bank, not to the IRS, not to The Company. When I had questioned Scott about it then, I was dismissed. Scott said, “You don’t understand finances. You’re stupid when it comes to numbers. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” So now I asked Renee to look for that transaction and documentation. Nothing. I then asked my attorney, Bob, to add that to a second set of interrogatory questions for Scott.
When Scott saw I’d hired the CDFA (using our joint accounts), in retaliation he began bombarding me with requests for my business records and receipts. I crafted as a hobby and for stress relief. I was crafting like crazy at the time! Sometimes I would sell my wares at craft shows. I spent more on supplies then what I made back in sales. But Scott always refused to claim my income, concerned that it would raise red flags with the IRS. Then Scott accused me stating, “I know you’re hiding money. You’re a spending whore,” amongst other choice insults. My hiring Renee spooked Scott — he was unusually assertive and angry.
Renee was a huge help. But I never got the answer about the missing $60,000 from Puerto Rico. All of our Puerto Rico bank statements also mysteriously disappeared at that time during the divorce. We even went so far as to subpoena the Puerto Rican Banks. They refused to respond stating they were a US territory and needn’t comply with US rules and regulations. Later I also hired a PI – to look for hidden funds. Just for a domestic sweep (within the US) cost $750. To do an international sweep I was told would cost thousands – thousands I didn’t have access to at the time. I’m sure Scott got away with it all. Living internationally, it was easy for Scott to stash cash.