How Much Do I Have to Share? - Dealing with a Nosy Former Spouse

During a marriage or relationship, spouses tend to share most of the details of their respective days.  A marriage requires sharing thoughts and experiences, but that flow of information clearly ends when the relationship ends in divorce.  Especially where people share children, there needs to be continued exchange of information following a divorce.  There are some situations, though, where your former spouse demands too much information.  Clients will often struggle with how much information they are required to share with a nosy former spouse.

If you share children with your former spouse, you will be required to continue to share information with your spouse until your child is emancipated.  New Jersey law puts a heavy emphasis on cooperation between co-parents after a divorce, so sharing information is a good way to show a court you are trying your best to cooperate.  This does not mean, however, that you are required to share every detail of your day with your former spouse.  You will be required to share certain information, such as medical appointments or school issues with your spouse.  It is not mandatory that you tell your spouse every plan you have made for your child during your parenting time. 

Another issue that arises is a former spouse demanding an accounting of money that has been paid for the purposes of spousal maintenance or child support.  This is especially frequent where the paying spouse is used to being in control of all the finances or even has been financially abusive to the receiving spouse.  The receiving spouse is not required in any way to provide any type of accounting of how money is spent to a former spouse, unless it was something specifically agreed to in the settlement.  Even when the money is paid for child support, the receiving spouse is not at all required or even encouraged to tell the paying spouse how he or she uses the support money.

If your former spouse is asking intrusive questions, the best way to deal with this behavior is to draw firm boundaries in a diplomatic way.  Simply tell your former spouse that you will not be sharing this information.  If he or she persists, ignoring the question and changing the subject is often the best tactic.  Your former spouse is not permitted to withhold parenting time or support payments simply because you refuse to provide extra information.  If he or she starts to do so, contact your attorney immediately.

If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities after your divorce, contact us today at (732) 529-6937. We have helped many clients understand the post-divorce process and can talk with you about your case. Please also check out our YouTube channel for other FAQs about divorce topics like this one. 
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