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In Divorce, Pay Close Attention To Financial Documents

Each party in a divorce action is required to provide full disclosure of any assets in which he or she has any interest, regardless of where the assets are located, using a standard financial disclosure form provided by the court system or the party’s attorney. Assets a party must disclose include real estate, checking and savings accounts, stocks and bonds, mortgages or promissory notes (showing money owed to the party), life insurance, business interests, personal property and retirement plans. Each party must also disclose his/her income from employment or any other source, as well as all debts and financial liabilities of either or both parties.

The standard disclosure form required by the court system contains a signature line for the party and the statement that complete disclosure of assets and debts is required by law. Deliberate failure to provide complete disclosure constitutes perjury. If the parties have any minor children, they must also furnish information to the court regarding what health insurance coverage is available for the children through each party’s employment or another organization.

When To Provide Financial Disclosure

By statute, each party is to file his or her financial disclosure statement with the court within 90 days of the date the joint petition is filed, or the respondent is served with the summons and petition. Each party is required to update his or her financial information at the time of the final hearing. Also by statute, each party’s financial information is sealed after the final hearing, and it may not be made available to anyone, other than for further litigation, appeal, modification or enforcement of the parties’ judgment. If a party fails to provide a financial disclosure statement, as required by the statutes, the court may accept the other party’s information as accurate.

What To Include In Your Documentation

In order to put together a complete financial disclosure statement for divorce, you should gather the following financial documents:

  • The last two years of state and federal income tax returns and W-2s
  • The last 12 weeks of pay stubs from your employer, or other documentation of your income, from all sources
  • Titles to any vehicles
  • The latest statement from any pension or profit-sharing plan, showing its value
  • A summary description of any health plan, if you have minor children
  • The latest statements from any investment accounts
  • The latest statement from any credit card accounts or other debts

If you own real estate, you will need to gather:

  • Warranty deed
  • Latest tax bill
  • Any appraisal or assessment of the property
  • The current balance of any mortgage or other lien against the property

Contact Us For Support

Whether you chose to represent yourself or you need an attorney to guide you through divorce, Friedrich & Fletcher, S.C., can help you. Our attorneys spend time getting to know each client and their financial details. For a consultation, email us in Madison or call 608-258-4660.