A financial affidavit will be one of the most crucial documents you complete during your divorce.
It will affect your property division settlement and your support agreements, so it is important that you know what it involves and the common mistakes to avoid when completing one.
Tips for completing your financial affidavit
When completing this document, it is crucial that you are honest and fully disclose the pertinent information.
In other words, you must accurately list:
- Sources of income, including government benefits
- Type and amount of your monthly expenses
- The value of assets, including cars, properties and personal items
If you leave any information out or misrepresent the value of anything, you can face legal and financial penalties.
You can make this process easier by consulting financial professionals and thoroughly reviewing your financial information. You can look at previous tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs and receipts to get a clear picture of the data.
A more in-depth examination of your property will likely be necessary if you have more complicated assets, like a business.
Using this information during divorce
Financial details are critical in a divorce, as they dictate how you divide assets and whether one person will pay child or spousal support.
You will use the information to help you categorize and value separate and marital assets, which is necessary to determine how to divide property equitably.
It will also reveal whether there is a need for spousal support, as well as the type and duration that may be appropriate.
Further, if you have children, your financial affidavit is necessary to calculate child support.
Mistakes on your affidavit can be costly
If you sign off on an incomplete or inaccurate financial affidavit, you could be charged with perjury, as it is a sworn statement. You could also face financial consequences from the court, which could ultimately benefit your ex.
This document is one of many you will complete during a divorce. However, it is one of the most important, so be sure you take it seriously. Take your time, be honest and consult professionals, if necessary.