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During the course of a divorce or parentage case, each party will have to complete a Financial Affidavit. This Affidavit is a form document and it is a breakdown of your gross monthly income; your net monthly income; your monthly expenses; your property, including real, personal, banking and retirement accounts; and a breakdown of your debts and liabilities. The Affidavit assists the parties, the attorneys and the judge in getting a clear picture of each parties’ financial situation. If temporary child support, maintenance or attorney’s fees are at issue, then the court will use the Affidavit to deal with such financial issues. Under the current statute, if you are seeking child support or maintenance, then you must provide the other spouse with your completed Financial Affidavit. This means that in any case in which child support and/or maintenance is an issue, then the parties will need to complete and exchange Financial Affidavits.
Prior to 2016, each county used their own Financial Affidavit. In 2016, however, our Supreme Court mandated that one, consistent form be used throughout the state. A copy of the Financial Affidavit can be located here:
While many people initially feel that completing their Financial Affidavit is a burdensome chore, the reality is that completing this form is pretty straight forward. As stated above, it’s a snapshot of your income, your property and your debts.
The Affidavit also requires you to supply relevant information pertaining to you, your spouse and your children. For example, it asks for your respective ages, the date of your marriage, the name and ages of your children (if applicable) and the name of your employer. It also asks for your pay frequency: weekly (52 times per year); monthly (once per month or 12 times per year); semi-monthly (twice per month or 24 times per year); or bi-weekly (every 2 weeks or 26 times per year).
You will also have to provide supporting documents with your Affidavit. Some of the documents you will have to provide are: tax returns; bank statements; pay stubs; and credit card statements.
When calculating your monthly expenses, you may run into an expense that is not paid every month (for example, homeowner’s or car insurance). In such a situation, simply calculate how much you pay for the year and then divide by 12. So, if your car insurance is $1,200.00 per year, then divide that by 12. $1,200.00 divided by 12 = $100.00 per month.
It is imperative that the information you put down on your Affidavit be as accurate as possible. You will sign the Affidavit under the penalties of perjury. So, if you lie or write down false information, you could be subject to fines and/or penalties, including, but not limited to, sanctions and attorney’s fees.
If you have problems or questions with completing your Affidavit, then you should consult an attorney to assist you.
In short, the answer is no. Your Affidavit should not become part of the public record, unless your judge mandates otherwise. The court wants to protect your personal information.
If you are going through a divorce or parentage case and there are financial issues, contact the attorneys at Taradash Given, P.C. They have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you. You can call us at (312) 775-1020 or you can reach us on line for a free, no hassle consultation.