Blogs from November, 2014

Financial Declarations in Family Court


The Family Court Rules require you to submit a financial declaration in every case involving economic issues. This includes almost every family court case. Divorce, child custody and child support cases all require every party to the action to file a financial declaration.

The reason is simple . . . your divorce, child custody and child support action is ultimately about money. It is easy to understand why cases involving child custody and support require the finances of the parties to be known and a divorce, once you remove your emotional attachment, is about dividing a family business. All the assets and all the debts must be disclosed and divided between the parties. The easiest way for the Judge to know the financial picture of the parties is for them to submit a sworn, notarized, financial statement.

This bottom-line approach to dissolving a marriage is why it is so important for you to know your finances before you begin the process of dissolving your marriage. Know your income, your spouse’s income, your home value, the purchase price, the amount of the mortgage, car values, car payments, investment accounts, retirement accounts and utility bills. There is no aspect of your financial life that you should not familiarize yourself with before it is too late.

Too many clients, men and women, come into my office and do not know how much they earn and how much their spouse earns. They tell me their check is direct deposited and their spouse handles all the finances.

When this happens we have to sit down and try to recreate their financial picture. Tens of thousands of dollars can be spent on lawyers and forensic accountants recreating the past three to five years of earnings and expenses. Even worse than the shock, are the sleepless nights that accompany the suspicion that your spouse may have hidden assets in anticipation of the approaching divorce.

Take a moment and look at a financial declaration. The information required is very basic but the questions is, “can you complete the form?” The standard form, in Microsoft Word format, is found in this link Word.

Need more help with your divorce or family law matter? Reach out to Bluestein Johnson & Burke, LLC today.

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