Can I get ex-wife's financial disclosure checked

19 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi,

I must be one of the most gullible divorcees ever to Grace Germany, because I trusted my ex-wife to be honest and fair about the separation and financial settlement. Hah. I left Germany in June 2008 to live in Australia because I lost my German job. My then wife decided in May 2009 not to follow, and to stay living in our house in Germany. She delayed divorce. In May 2010 I filed her with a divorce notice from Australia, and in September2010 we were divorced through an Australian court. I then expected that we would both declare our assets and split the fortune according to how it's foreseen by law. I asked her about our investment and insurance issues, she refused to tell me and told me to find it myself. It turns out she had a secret account that she had not disclosed. At first she lied about the opening date, but it finally turned out she opened it years before I left Germany. To cut a long story short, I have lots of clear evidence that she lied and suspect strongly she’s still lying.

Under divorce law she is obliged to provide her complete financial situation on three key dates (date of separation, date of divorce notice, and date of divorce). Actually she never did. The Bundesgesetzbuch seems to say that I could pay somebody to establish what assets she did own on those 3 days (§ 1379 Abs. 1 Satz 4 BGB “Er kann auch verlangen, dass das Verzeichnis auf seine Kosten durch die zuständige Behörde oder einen zuständigen Beamten oder Notar aufgenommen wird”).

My question is whether I can employ an officer of the court, notary, or somebody else to have authority from the court to establish her complete financial assets on the key dates by accessing her bank accounts etc. My lawyer does not seem to know how to do it, and nobody at court he asked knows either. But then what does § 1379 Abs. 1 Satz 4 BGB mean? If I could have somebody examine her bank statements and any assets associated with her tax file number then I would take her to court about the financial settlement. I would be very grateful for an answer please. Thank you.

Mike

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Posted

How do you know she had a secret account, if it was a secret?

Why cant you just "move on="

I got fucked-over not too long ago, in hindsight, it probably was the best thing that happened to me..

I now own my proprety without a Mortgage, the other party needs to work until their loans and mortgages are paid off!

I would say... jst forget it and walk away renee!

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Posted

I didnt realise he was looking for sympathy..

Sorry

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Posted

how much "money" are we talking about here? thats the question you need to answer first.. then figure out how much it'll cost to chase up and push through a court of law.. you'll probably find the latter costs more than the amount of money she put aside secretly. unless you were loaded and had a tonne of great investments - it probably has no value other than causing her grief having to go through a legal process and mess around with it. it also depends where your marriage had its jurisdiction - australia? germany? different laws for different places, germany is normally quite good - as whatever you had before remains yours. i just went through a separation/divorce myself - while my ex-wife could have taken me for a lot more; she was reasonable and we focused on what was important for us both to be happy and be able to maintain some form of friendship and do what is best for her daughter and provide her security to get back on her feet. SpiderPig may be right - just let it go, wont be worth the effort. doing it for spite is just another waste of time.

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Posted

You can sue her for the information and then for payment of your portion in an Auskunfts- und Leistungsklage (Stufenklage). Get a lawyer and a huge stock of patience.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Please have all legal advice you receive here verified by a legal professional.

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Posted

.. do the math.. lawyer = money, trip from Australia to Germany to sign papers = money.

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Posted

My question is whether I can employ an officer of the court, notary, or somebody else to have authority from the court to establish her complete financial assets on the key dates by accessing her bank accounts etc. My lawyer does not seem to know how to do it, and nobody at court he asked knows either. But then what does § 1379 Abs. 1 Satz 4 BGB mean? If I could have somebody examine her bank statements and any assets associated with her tax file number then I would take her to court about the financial settlement. I would be very grateful for an answer please. Thank you.

Mike

The notary or court official can theoretically do whatever he deems necessary in order to get an accurate, truthful and correct listing of her assets (emphasis on he, not you). However he will not be able to get the necessary information without the help of your ex wife. No bank will for example give him access to her details without her consent or a court order (which neither he, nor the court official will get in this kind of proceeding). Basically what it comes down to is that in theory, it should not just be an affidavit she files in front of a notary or the court as they should theoretically check the truthfulness of her statement, in practice however it's just that.

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Posted

Hi all,

Thanks for your posts. I did not provide too much detail because I thought it wasn’t necessary to answer my main question. But there have been a couple of requests for more information, so here goes.

SpiderPig's advice is not bad. And actually I've moved on. I now have a beautiful new wife, and at the age of 51 I'm a new father again with a wonderful baby daughter. I'm really not after sympathy andyhandy. In fact I just want to know whether the court can examine her assets. If it can, I think a court case would be close to cost neutral for me, but devastating for her. And I would like that. So before walking fully away I would like to pursue justice, and I have my new wife's full support.

SpiderPig is probably younger than me, and so could afford to take a new mortgage etc. In my previous marriage we put our superannuation into the house mortgage. I essentially left Germany with nothing, so with a future working life of about 15 years and no cash in my hand, it's going to be difficult anyway for me to get a new mortgage on my own. Anyway, it’s not just about money. I also have 3 children in Germany who are probably convinced that the failure of their parents to reach an agreement is my fault because their lovely mother could not be such a monster as I claim. I would like to have my name cleared so that the children can see what a wonderful individual their mother really is. So it’s not just a matter of money. Anyway, my lawyer can act with power of attorney in court, so I would not have to travel there for a court case.

In response to ardiri, how much money is a good question. Or better still, how long had she been pilfering our joint account. At the moment I’m guessing that I have nothing of our previous joint fortune and she has probably many tens of thousands of euros. I didn't go into details, but we had a joint account. After she said she was going to remain in Germany I wrote to the bank to cancel it in mid 2009. The bank told me she had to agree before it could be closed, and then she wrote to say it had been cancelled. Later, when I wanted to know whether she had cashed in some cancelled insurance policies and so contacted the bank, I was shocked to learn from the bank that she had refused to close the account, and was still using it. She made a tactical error because she was too lazy to transfer all her periodic payments etc. So I obtained copies of all statements (of my joint account) from the time I left Germany to the time of the divorce. That's where I saw that she made transactions to and from her "secret account". At this stage she'd already disclosed "all" her assets, and this account was not declared. It became clear that she was deliberately lying to maliciously exploit the situation. From the very first month I left Germany she was withdrawing almost 1000 Euro per month in cash. She was already very good at it very early after separation. From the bank statements I can really reconstruct that she paid for all living costs with her EC card, really everything. Perhaps she might have needed a couple of hundred petty cash per month, and not every month, but not almost a thousand in cash every month. Clearly, she was transferring cash somewhere else to hide it. She had also tried to tell me that a joint share trust fund had gone bankrupt in 2009 (BG global funds really went bust in 2009), but in December 2008 the statement shows that she had withdrawn the whole thing onto the joint account, and had used some to pay into another share trust fund. Because of the amount of cash she withdrew, and one of the statements from the “secret account” that she later reluctantly showed me, I’m guessing that she also has at least one more secret Giro account I don’t know about, as well as term deposits, share trust funds etc. She is not the sort to leave cash around not earning interest. So, if she’s been taking 500-1000 Euro per month that would have been 6000-12000 per year. How many years had it been going on? I’d love to know. What I do know is that before I left the country I did try to reconcile costs because I was surprised how quickly our income vanished. She already withdrew lots of cash from the automatic teller in the first few months after I left. She seemed to be already in good practice.

Although I know that your advice is well meant, please don’t try to tell me that the German system is a good one ardiri. Under Australian law, if we could not reach an out of court settlement within 12 months of the divorce date, the court can intervene and ascertain the value of all bank accounts etc. associated with the tax numbers of both parties. Then the division would be just determined by the court. My present situation would not happen in Australia. This German system is unfair: where I’m expected to accept her word on the assets after I’ve demonstrated clearly that she has lied repeatedly, with conflicting lies about the secret account because she had told so many lies she couldn’t remember them all any more. My lawyer tells me that she will be asked to make a vow about her assets, and that will be that. Frustratingly, that seems to be just what Bob Loblaw is telling me.

So Bob Loblaw, are you certain of what you are saying? Are there any lawyers out there who can offer alternatives? If not, then I guess that she has played the system very well and I lose for being stupid enough to trust her. But if there is any way in the wonderfully equitable German divorce law system that somebody who has obviously lied and cheated (and caused her children lots of unnecessary emotional pain) can be brought to justice, then I would be prepared to do whatever is necessary to achieve that justice.

All the best.

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Posted

I don't know what ways there are for detecting hidden assets (which maybe aren't even held within Germany). But if she vowed that she had disclosed everything and lied she would expose herself to the risk of a jail sentence. Also, I remember having read about a case where somebody engaged a private detective to find out that his debtor had hidden assets and it was ruled by the court that the debtor had to reimburse the cost for the private detective to the creditor. You might confirm that with your lawyer and make her aware of that. Maybe this would change her mind about lying. You would have to have a hard-boiled criminal mindset to run the risk of jail sentence for some ten thousand Euros.

Or maybe your children would have some knowledge about her assets and could be witnesses in court (maybe they saw bank statements and the like lying around or overheard phone conversations)?

Also, maybe you could consider an agreement where you waive your claims in favour of your children? Maybe this would be something she would be prepared to accept?

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Posted

There's a slight taint of bitter/vindictiveness in your last post but heavens who am I to judge. I think jeba's advice is accurate but must be tempered against bob loblaw's. There are many things that can be done but whether the courts or their officers will ever overcome their apathy and also the sense of "disloyalty" when forced to take a decison against a fellow German in favour of a foreigner, is a legitimate concern. However I would encourage and support you not to allow yourself to be brow-beaten or "shamed" into letting it go. If there's one thing I have learned here, when the shoe is on the other foot nothing will be "let go" or allowed to slide. So here I veer away from spiderpig's view rather dramatically.

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Posted

Mike..

Thanks for the Clarification..

Had this been given in the first place, I would probably said the same...

Walk away renee!!

If you do find that she is stealing money from you, what are you going to do about it?

What will the consequences be in regards to your Children in Germany? ( Dont forget they will always be your Children) and this taking action may just strengthen anything that the Mother has said about you...

The only people that would be interested in the "money hiding" could be the Finanzamt... Talking with them, could also affect the children.

As for " Younger than you?" Well, just 3 yrs.. and I too have a lovely new Daughter to cherish..

I hope that you make the right choice!

SP

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Posted

I am the person suggested that Mike post here for legal advice. Several people advised him to walk away.

Unfortunately he is not able to walk away because his ex-wife asks for more financial commitment for her future in an out of court settlement, as well as not admitting to stolen money. She told him that she would have him exactly where she wants him. So he cannot accept her conditions for an out of court settlement. According to the notary contract draft which he was asked to sign, there are two main conditions: a) he should be aware that there are possible debts during the marriage. B) He should be aware that if in the far future for whatever reason she cannot work, he would be obliged to pay her spouse maintenance.

About the condition a, I guess that he has the right to know if there is any debt that existed and then decide if the debt is his responsibility. But she never disclosed her finances properly so he can’t know. About the condition b, it seems that the ex-wife needs to claim spouse maintenance with proper authority via the court if she is entitled to it. The lady now has double the amount of assessable monthly income than him. (Child maintenance is only paid by Mike side according to the lawyer. So this amount excludes the costs for the children.)

Is it a good idea voluntarily to take lifelong responsibility of spouse maintenance for the twice divorced lady in an out of court settlement? If court is an expensive way to solve the problem, this responsibility would be much more expensive, let alone there are probably some secret debts to share.

The German lady will not go to the court now like she many times said she was going to, because she would then have to reveal all the assets in her name. Or worse, she might wait until 7 years have passed, and then go to court once nothing can be proved against her. Unfortunately, the only way to clear this deadlock looks like court soon.

Should Mike walk away for the children's benefit? The oldest child is 19.5 years old now. She is fighting with her mother for the child support money that comes under her name from the government.

Now according what the lady's request, Mike has to collect all living cost receipts for her to check from time to time. That cannot be a pleasant life for anybody. That means he and his Australian family will not be able to save one more cent for themselves by living in a thrifty way of life.It means that will be impossible for them to save A for B. Any saving of their life will only become her income source.

If the court will not support a court order to examine the woman’s assets, then going to court will be probably pointless for Mike.

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Posted

she might wait until 7 years have passed, and then go to court once nothing can be proved against her.

Where do those 7 years come from? AFAIK banks are keeping records for at least 10 years.

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Posted

If it can, I think a court case would be close to cost neutral for me, but devastating for her. And I would like that.

I admire your honesty!

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Posted

I am the person suggested that Mike post here for legal advice. Several people advised him to walk away.

So... Why dont you advise him to go to court?

2 New Users... One telling a story, the other adding more info...

You are German... Why dont you go to a lawyer and get 100% accurate information for your friend for the cost of a few hundred Euro?

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Posted

The German lawyer suggested him not to go to court because that court would only take her "vow". My suggestion was to confirm this with people here.

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Posted

So the Lawyer said "walk away"....??

Jeez!!

I got 19 reds for agreeing with a lawyer!!!

Happy days!

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Posted

I read somewhere on the internet that what used to take a private detective quite a bit of time to uncover secret financial assets, now requires but minutes with a computer. Surely this can't be that hard? :unsure:

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