Financial Affidavits in a Divorce
Discovery , Property
What is a Financial Affidavit?
A financial affidavit in a divorce is a legal document that lists a party’s income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. It is used to provide a comprehensive overview of the individual’s financial situation and is often required by the court to determine matters such as property division, maintenance, and child support. The financial affidavit must be completed accurately and honestly, as intentionally providing false information can have legal consequences.
Why is a Financial Affidavit Needed in a Divorce?
A financial affidavit is needed in a divorce for several reasons. First, it provides an accurate picture of each party’s financial situation, which is important for the court to make decisions about property division, spousal support, and child support. Second, it can help to prevent disputes over finances by ensuring that both parties have a clear understanding of each other’s financial circumstances. Third, the financial affidavit is a legal requirement in many jurisdictions and failure to provide one can result in legal consequences. Finally, the financial affidavit is a good “preview” of the party’s financial situation. After reviewing a financial affidavit, you may better understand your need to complete additional discovery in your case. Overall, the financial affidavit is an essential tool for ensuring that the divorce process is fair and equitable.
How do you complete a financial affidavit?
First, it is important to understand that this is neither “easy” nor “hard” to complete, but it takes a little time and a little bit of thinking.
Completing a financial affidavit in a divorce typically involves the following steps:
- Gather all financial documents: Collect all documents related to your income, expenses, assets, and debts, including pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, mortgage documents, and investment statements.
- Review the financial affidavit form: Obtain a financial affidavit form from your attorney or review the blank affidavit on the Illinois Supreme Court website.
- Provide accurate information: Provide accurate and complete information in each section of the financial affidavit, including your income, expenses, assets, and debts. Make sure to include all sources of income and all debts, even if they are jointly held. This can be very tricky especially when spouses have joint incomes. It can also be tricky to think of annual expenses when completing a monthly form. We recommend that you try to get an accurate picture of your annual expenses and divide by 12 and include a footnote as to how you arrived at the figure.
- Attach supporting documents: Attach all necessary supporting documents to the financial affidavit, such as pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements. This helps to provide a complete picture of your financial situation.
- Sign and submit the affidavit: Once you have completed the financial affidavit and attached all supporting documents, sign it, and submit it to your attorney or as instructed by the court.
It is important to be honest and accurate when completing a financial affidavit, as providing false information can have serious legal consequences.