As a Long Island Divorce Attorney who has met with countless clients and prospective clients during their complimentary consultations, I have seen people immediately intimidated by one of the key pieces of information we need to collect: the Statement of Net Worth. In an effort to alleviate that intimidation, we have complied some basic information.
What Is a Statement of Net Worth?
A Statement of Net Worth (SNW) is a document that will be submitted to the court which states the financials of both parties. This document is invaluable in divorces, particularly in a Contested Divorce. There are a few different sections contained in the document, including annual income, assets, liabilities and bank accounts. The parties will list items such as their income from previous tax returns, any mortgages or home equity loans, credit card debt, bank account balances, student loan obligations, assets such as jewelry, artwork, or antiques, any life insurance the parties have taken out, as well as their cash surrender value.
Why is a Statement of Net Worth Important to My Divorce Attorney?
In order for your Long Island divorce attorney to properly and effectively represent you and your interests, he or she needs an accurate picture of both your and your spouse’s finances. This is one of the reasons your accurate recording of your finances is so crucial. We have found that some clients are often hesitant to disclose debts or liabilities, but as Long Island divorce attorneys we must have an accurate and complete understanding of your situation.
The Statement of Net Worth is also important for your attorney during the negotiation process. If you are seeking to negotiate matters of child support, spousal maintenance and equitable distribution, these cannot be properly done without an accurate depiction of both parties’ finances. In fact, there are many attorneys who will not complete the negotiation process without an up-to-date Statement of Net Worth.
Why is a Statement of Net Worth Important to Courts on Long Island?
A Statement of Net Worth is important to courts on Long Island for much the same reason as it’s important to attorneys. In order for the court to make an informed ruling on any motion, it must have the information contained in the Statement of Net Worth. If you are asking for child support, maintenance, carrying costs on the marital residence, or seeking to have your spouse make regular payments toward the martial debt, the courts needs proof that such circumstances exist in which awarding same would be necessary.
If your case proceeds to a hearing or trial, a Statement of Net Worth is equally as important. Again, in order to properly award child support, maintenance, attorney fees or any other financial obligation, the court must know who is properly equipped to incur the costs of those obligations. In many cases, the court will request updated Statement of Net Worth if the case is set down for trial in order to maintain an accurate picture of the parties’ finances.
Have Questions About Your Statement of Net Worth? Contact Us
If you believe that you are entitled to certain financial awards during the pendency and after the completion of your divorce, please call our Long Island Divorce and Family Law firm at 631-923-1910 and schedule your free consultation.
Download Your Free New York Divorce Guide
Our 41-page “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” written by an experienced family law lawyer, Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., provides you with real information on the divorce process and the laws it rests upon in the state of New York. This book will help give you a solid foundation upon which you can begin the process of making your family’s, life better.