What is a Statement of Net Worth in Long Island Divorce?
One of the most important documents your divorce attorney will request from you and your spouse in the preparation of your Long Island divorce is known as a Statement of Net Worth (SNW). While this is a detailed document that can seem intimidating at first, it is critical for both your attorney and the court to have an accurate picture of your financial situation to effectively represent you and protect your interests in your divorce.
If you are seeking to negotiate matters of child support, spousal maintenance and equitable distribution, among other issues, both your attorney your attorney and the court needs to know where you stand in order to negotiate or award payments.
What is a Statement of Net Worth?
A Statement of Net Worth is a financial disclosure document required of both parties in a matrimonial action. A Statement of Net Worth is a sworn statement of your income, expenses, assets and liabilities. This means that, by signing the SNW, you are swearing to its validity and truth under threat of perjury. Your three most recently filed tax returns, whether filed jointly or separately, and four current, representative paystubs must also be attached.
It is important to note that each party is entitled to disclosure, meaning each party may review the other’s SNW. Before signing a Stipulation of Settlement or a Separation Agreement, the parties should always exchange SNWs.
You should not underestimate the importance or complexity of your SNW. It will take a lot of time and work to properly complete. Additionally, in order to properly complete a SNW, you should provide your attorney with the following documents:
- Tax Returns: Last 3 years Federal and State Tax Returns (including W-2’s and 1099’s);
- Pay Stubs: Last 4 weeks of pay stubs;
- Credit Report: You can obtain a copy of your credit report at no charge by visiting the website: annualcreditreport.com and following the instructions;
- Deed: Copy of recorded Deed for all parcels of real property;
- Benefits: Employee benefit summaries or statements covering retirement benefits, pension plans and life insurance;
- Pension: Summary Plan Description of pension plans;
- Health Insurance: Medical, Dental, Vision and Prescription Insurance Information with plan identification numbers, descriptions of coverage, name and address of plan administrators;
- Bank Accounts: Statements of all bank accounts (checking, savings, money market, CD, etc.);
- IRA’s: Statements of IRA, 401K, and Keogh accounts and/or any other retirement funds or benefits not included on employee benefit statements (as requested above);
- Mortgage: Mortgage statements including name of lender, original amount of mortgage, current balance, monthly payment amount, and whether taxes and insurance are included in monthly payment. If not, a copy of tax bills;
- Life Insurance: Statement as to company name, policy number, type of policy, face value, loan balance information, case value;
- Loan Statements: Statement of all loans showing creditor, account number and current balance;
- Credit Cards: Statement of all credit card and charge card accounts showing outstanding balance, creditor information and account numbers;
- Stock Certificates: Statement of all stock certificates, bonds, investment accounts, mutual funds and/or stock options;
- Appraisals: Appraisals and/or Market Analyses information for all real property;
- Vehicles: Blue book value of all cars, boats, trucks, motorcycles, etc., as well as copies of certificates of title;
- Inheritances: Information on all inheritances, gifts from third parties; and
- Employment: Chronology of all jobs held during the course of the marriage.
Once your final Statement of Net Worth is filed with the Court, this part of your Divorce Proceeding is complete. Occasionally, you may need to file an Updated Statement of Net Worth, but because you have put in the dedication and leg work your first time around, the updating will not be difficult or take you much additional time to prepare.
Have Questions About Your Statement of Net Worth? We Can Help
The Statement of Net Worth is a critical document in your divorce and it must be filled out accurately. In order to protect your rights and financial interests, it is important to have an experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney by your side. Contact our Long Island Divorce & Family Law firm at 631-629-2545 to set up your free consultation with one of our experienced Divorce and Family Law attorneys.
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