There are numerous steps you must take when getting divorced. This may include submitting or filling out required documents. As you proceed with your divorce, one document your lawyer might ask you to fill out is called a financial affidavit. If you have no idea what this is or why it's needed, here is what you should know about it.
What It Is
A financial affidavit is a form that each spouse might be required to fill out at some point during the divorce proceedings. It's usually required near the start of a divorce, but this varies. This form contains a variety of questions related to the spouse's financial status. It may include questions about the spouse's income and also questions related to debt and expenses. The details on the form should give a good indication of each spouse's financial situation at the time they filled it out, and this information is necessary for several reasons.
What the Court Uses It For
One of the ways a court uses these forms is to help a couple split up marital assets and debts if the couple is going through a contested divorce. By viewing the assets, debts, and income of each spouse, it can be easier to create a fair agreement as to how to split these things.
Secondly, these forms are often used for calculating child support, alimony, and spousal support. If your divorce will result in any of these types of payments, you will both need to fill out financial affidavits before the court can determine an amount of the payments.
The Repercussions of Lying on It
There are times when spouses are tempted to misconstrue certain aspects of their finances, such as their income or assets. A spouse would do this to avoid sharing his or her wealth or to control the amount of the payments for child support or alimony. While this might be tempting to do, it's completely illegal. You cannot lie on this form, as it's a court-ordered document. Lying can result in major consequences, so it's important to fill it out honestly.
While there are situations where couples do not need to fill out a financial affidavit, there are also many couples who do. If you have questions about this form or about other steps of the divorce process, consult with a local divorce attorney. Reach out to a firm in your area like Bray & Johnson Law Firm today.