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A full financial disclosure is key to achieving a fair divorce

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Divorce

Financial considerations are often unavoidable in a New York divorce. Knowing how much property is available, what it is worth, the amount of money, investments and retirement accounts each party has and other monetary concerns are key aspects to reaching a reasonable outcome for both sides.

Given its importance, state law specifically addresses financial disclosures and how they must be handled. This is a crucial part of the case with reaching a fair outcome, so it is essential to be aware of it and know what information must be provided.

When the sides are in dispute over support, alimony or maintenance, the financial disclosure is integral. Each party must disclose their financial circumstances in full. They give a sworn statement declaring their net worth if there is a demand for one. When there is no demand, the statement will be given to the court clerk.

Total assets and liabilities will constitute the parties’ net worth. All income and assets must be included in the statement. It does not matter what the asset is or where it is located, the parties must disclose it even if they do not believe it has significant value. If assets were transferred within the prior three years, this too must be disclosed. Assets that were transferred for similarly valued assets in an exchange do not need to be disclosed.

There must be proof of the income and assets in the form of pay stubs and state income tax returns. Information regarding medical benefits needs to be provided for children if there is a request for support. Once the case has gotten underway, the court will set a date or dates for which the assets will be valued.

This might seem to be an issue in cases in which there is believed to be vast net worth – and inevitably, it will be. However, people who believe they do not have significant assets frequently have more valuable property and assets than they realized at the start. This can stoke challenges in trying to assess what each side owns individually and if there is an argument that it is, in part, marital property.

Know about financial disclosures in a divorce

As the case proceeds and people go back and forth about how much support will be paid, who gets to keep what property from the marriage and other financially worrisome issues, the financial disclosure will be a vital reference point in the case. This, like all other areas of divorce, can be complicated and spark disagreement. Knowing how to achieve a reasonable result while retaining as much as possible requires qualified guidance with a history of handling higher asset family law cases in New York.