If you are getting a divorce, a key document you and your spouse will need to submit is a Financial Affidavit. This is a signed and sworn document that details each party’s income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Working with an experienced divorce lawyer is recommended both to ensure that you have provided the necessary information and to analyze your spouse’s affidavit. The information in the affidavit will be used throughout the divorce process to guide discovery, settlement negotiations, and litigation. As a critical piece in your divorce, here are a few things you need to know about financial affidavits in divorce.
Who Needs to Complete a Financial Affidavit?
In Connecticut, everyone seeking a divorce or legal separation must complete and submit an affidavit to the Court.
How Is a Financial Affidavit Used in Divorce?
The affidavit is used in determining equitable distribution of the parties’ assets and liabilities as well as in ascertaining income for the purposes of awarding alimony and child support, including obligations to pay for a child’s college education.
When a Guardian Ad Litem is appointed for minor children, the affidavit will be used to apportion the GAL’s fees between the parties according to their relative income.
Financial Affidavits in divorce are also utilized in post-judgment Motions to modify support obligations. Such Motions require that a party show a substantial change in circumstances and the Court will compare the current affidavit to the prior one to determine how the party’s finances have changed.
When Is the Initial Financial Affidavit Due?
After a divorce action has been commenced, the first Court date is scheduled approximately 60-90 days later. This is known as the “Mandatory Resolution Plan Date.” The first Financial Affidavit must be filed two days before this date.
How Often Does a Financial Affidavit Have to Be Updated?
The parties are obligated to keep their affidavit up-to-date and disclose changes. However, the parties typically must file an updated affidavit prior to any Hearings or Depositions, Trial, and the final dissolution.
How Is the Financial Affidavit Prepared?
We ask clients to fill in our worksheet first and then we have detailed discussions about any income and assets that may need to be explained to the Court, such as complex pay structures or assets. This process helps ensure that we have obtained all the necessary information to complete the Financial Affidavit.
What Documents Are Needed to Prepare the Financial Affidavit?
Each party must provide information regarding their income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Typically, we ask clients for pay stubs, W-2s, 1099s, tax returns, and other proof of their income. We also request documentation of their expenses for the last 12 months, including bank and credit card statements, invoices, reports from software packages (ex. QuickBooks), and other information.
For assets and liabilities, bank, brokerage, and credit card statements and similar evidence are needed.
Importantly, a party only needs to list assets in that party’s sole name or jointly held with their spouse or a third party.
Is a Child’s Property Listed on the Financial Affidavit?
If one spouse is the custodian of a child’s assets, they must be included on the affidavit. However, the value of the child’s property is not included in the total assets.
The Financial Affidavit is an essential document in your divorce and you must take care to prepare it properly. Our attorneys have extensive experience drafting financial affidavits, including for clients with complicated finances. If you are considering divorce, contact us for a consultation today.