Disclosing Your Finances in a Long Island Divorce
In a divorce on Long Island, you must disclose, or make known, your complete financial information if your case involves child support, spousal support, or other maintenance. New York State Domestic Relations Law §236 makes it mandatory for both spouses to bring forward their information so the financial situation of each spouse can be accurately represented. Even if your divorce is uncontested, you’ll still need to completely disclose your finances.
When involved in a divorce where you’ll be required to make full financial disclosure, it’s important that you work with an attorney to protect your best interests. In fact, if you are still considering divorce and have not yet filed, it’s of great benefit for you to learn how the process works beforehand so you know what to expect when it comes time to disclose your finances.
Never Refuse to Disclose or Withhold Information
During your divorce, it’s crucial that you never refuse to disclose or withhold your financial information at any time. It’s possible that your financial records will be subpoenaed anyway and that you will be held responsible for withholding information against New York state law. While this is true in any divorce, it occurs more frequently in high net worth divorces when a spouse attempts to conceal their full income and assets.
Complete a Net Worth Statement
Both you and your ex-spouse will be required to complete and submit a Statement of Net Worth. This is simply a form that lists in detail your income, your assets, and what regular expenses you have, including rent or mortgage, utilities, other child support obligations, debt payments, etc. Essentially, the goal of a Net Worth Statement is to determine how much money you make compared to your expenses, how much disposable income you have, and what assets you have that could be liquidated.
Complete a Financial Disclosure Affidavit for Family Court Cases
If your case will involve child support or spousal support, you’ll also need to fill out a Financial Disclosure Affidavit for Family Court. This form is similar to the Net Worth Statement and essentially assesses what your expense to income ratio is. This allows the Family Court to award child or spousal support that is both adequate for the recipient’s needs but also fits within the financial capabilities of the payor.
Bring the Right Documents
There are several documents that you’ll need to gather and submit copies to your former spouse and their legal team. Generally, you’ll want to make copies of the last few years of tax returns, lists of all the financial accounts you have, including savings and checking accounts, 401k, CD accounts, etc., pay stubs and bank statements for the last several months, and property appraisals.
Focus on the Benefits of Full Financial Disclosure
It’s normal to feel vulnerable during a divorce and having to make a full financial disclosure can add insult to injury. It’s easy to focus so much on these negative feelings about having to disclose your own finances that you overlook the benefits of your spouse disclosing their finances too. After submitting this information, people often learn that they are entitled to property or assets that they didn’t know about, helping to ease their transition into a newly independent lifestyle.
Contact Our Long Island Divorce Law Firm Today
Are you involved in or thinking about a divorce where you’ll have to make a full financial disclosure? If so, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer to guide you through the process of accurately disclosing your finances — and making sure your spouse does the same. We work hard to protect your rights and best interests from the time you call our office to the time the judge issues your final divorce decree.
We know that divorce can be a challenging time, but we also know there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re committed to helping you get there with comprehensive and compassionate legal representation. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling us at 631-923-1910 or fill out our quick contact form.
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