Divorce & Financial Affidavits

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A financial affidavit is a sworn statement you make to the court about your personal finances during divorce proceedings. The affidavit is filed by both you and your spouse. The financial statement is crucial during divorce, as the judge relies on the contents when making decisions about the settlement of the marriage assets.

Features

All of your income, debts, personal expenses and liabilities, such as home and auto loans, must be included on the affidavit. Jointly owned assets, like a house in the name of you and your spouse, should be included on the affidavit, as well as debts in both you and your spouse's names. The market value of marital assets and marital debts are typically expressed as a 50 percent share on the statement, as both parties own the asset or are responsible for the debt.

Effects

The information given on the financial affidavit is used by the judge to determine whom gets what asset and what, if any, should be paid in spousal and child support. A spouse with a bleaker financial picture is generally entitled to more of the marital assets in order to maintain her living standard from before the divorce.

Considerations

Each spouse receives a copy of the other spouse's financial statement. You or your spouse can object to the contents of the affidavit if either feels the other is withholding income or overstating debt. The judge may require documentation of all income, debts and assets shown on the statement. In cases where you and your spouse cannot agree on the value of an asset, a third-party appraisal of the asset's value by an expert can be ordered by the court.

Misconceptions

Your income should be calculated to an average for the year, as the statement is going to be used for orders you will be held to in the future. A seasonal worker may have high income during the month the statement is being filed, but that may not reflect how much he actually makes per year, as slower months result in less income. Your expenses should not reflect what the expenses were when you were married, as you are only responsible for showing your own living costs on the affidavit.

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