Preparing a Divorce Financial Disclosure Statement

At the commencement of a divorce case, each party to the proceedings must complete a financial disclosure statement. Before anyone begins preparing a financial disclosure statement, however, there are some basics to understand about the process and the document itself.

Collecting Supporting Data

The typical divorce financial disclosure statement requires a person to collect certain pieces of supporting documentation. These materials are to accompany the statement when filed with the clerk of the court. Examples of supporting data include tax returns, paycheck stubs, records of different types of financial accounts, and information about different types of insurance policies.

Completing the Standard Form Disclosures

Virtually every jurisdiction maintains a standard financial disclosure form to be completed by each party to a divorce case. No substitution is permitted for the standard form utilized in a specific jurisdiction. There are exceptions, but these are best addressed through an experienced attorney rather than a party to a divorce acting on his or her own volition.

The form must be completed in its entirety. In order to make it clear to the court that nothing is overlooked, each answer space should have an entry. If something is not applicable, that should be noted on the form.

Verification of Financial Disclosure Statement

A party to a divorce needs to bear in mind that a financial disclosure statement is a verified document, which means it is signed under penalty of perjury. If false information is included in a financial disclosure statement, the party providing that erroneous data can be subjected to significant sanctions by the court. These sanctions can include monetary penalties.

Updating Financial Disclosure Statement

Sometimes a person’s financial situation can change, even in a short period of time. In fact, changes oftentimes occur while a divorce case pends. A party to a proceeding has a legal responsibility to update and disclose any material changes in the data included in the document. Failure to appropriately update a financial disclosure statement in a timely manner can result in a party to a divorce being sanctioned by the court.

Properly making financial disclosures can be a complicated matter in some divorce cases. A person seeking to end a marriage usually is best served retaining legal counsel to assist not only in preparing a financial disclosure statement but in all other aspects of a divorce case. An attorney will schedule a no-cost initial consultation to discuss a case with a prospective client.