Lisa Marie Presley leaves husband in charge of finances; what happens when the “out spouse” files for divorce?

On June 13 Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from her fourth husband, Michael Lockwood. While Lisa Marie isn’t the only star we’ve written about to go through multiple divorces, her specific case highlights a common and sometimes very complicated issue in divorce which occurs when one spouse has taken control of the finances and the other has little to no involvement in financial matters (the so-called “out spouse” is the one who stayed out of financial matters during the marriage).  

Lisa Marie’s attorney has asserted financial reasons for the ultimate downfall of this union. It seems as though Michael was in charge of all the finances during the couple’s ten-year marriage. Until recently, Lisa Marie was happy to let her husband handle all of the finances, which included the large sums of money coming in from her father’s estate. The couple, although they did not enter a pre-nuptial agreement prior to getting married, did enter into a post-nuptial agreement (or “post-nup”.) The post-nup apparently makes clear that all the money coming in from Elvis Presley’s estate belongs to Lisa Marie alone as her separate property.

Regardless of the typical arrangements during their marriage, it sounds like once things between Lisa Marie and Michael started getting rocky, she began paying more attention to their finances and realized that a lot of money was missing! Shortly thereafter, she was sued by American Express over a $109,000 credit card bill that she appears to have had no idea about. She has since filed for divorce and hired a forensic accountant to determine what this $109,000 was spent on and where all the other missing money went.

Unfortunately Lisa Marie’s situation is not all that uncommon. Although the typical couple will not have the substantial amount of assets that Lisa Marie does, very often one spouse takes complete control of the finances and the other spouse blindly trusts that everything is how it should be, until such time that the marriage starts coming to an end. The “out spouse” may have no idea that anything was wrong or “fishy” about the financial situation until he or she decides to file for divorce. At that point there may be years of complicated finances and missing assets that need to be sorted through and accounted for. To complete this task often requires the hiring of a forensic accountant.

In situations like these, it is critical that you have an experienced legal team behind you. The attorneys at Bickford Blado & Botros are skilled and have many years of experience in ensuring that their “out spouse” clients receive a just outcome in their dissolution proceedings, through thorough investigation and contacts with trusted outside experts for complicated accounting and other matters.

Please contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding child custody and visitation. Nancy J. Bickford is the only Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) in San Diego County who is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.

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