The divorce process consists of multiple steps which require legal divorce documents to be provided from both sides. Financial settlement is one of the most important parts, which determines the financial outcomes of the divorce for both parts. Here we detail the importance of financial disclosure in divorce.
What are Financial Disclosures in Divorce?
To reach a fair financial settlement both partners have to come up with a financial disclosure. What this means is that the parties have to provide a list of evaluated personal assets, properties, and debts. If the partners are eager to cooperate and don’t hide any information, the divorce process goes fast and fairly. Otherwise, court specialists and penalties are required to regulate the situation.
Why It Is Important
Financial disclosure is a significant part of the process. It enables both parties to gauge the divorce outcomes and get real divorce help on personal financial safety. Generally, getting and providing financial disclosure can help you. Here are some tips.
- Cooperate with specialists – once your divorce lawyer and accountant get financial disclosures from both partners, they can give you good advice on getting the most beneficial position in the divorce procedure and predict your chances and possible divorce outcomes.
- You will not be able to reach a fair financial agreement unless you and your spouse provide each other with the list of everything you own and owe. It may sound obvious but is a vital detail in the divorce procedure.
- If one party is not willing to cooperate and attempts to hide some financial information, there are multiple tools to force him/her to provide the whole list. But the more tools and institutions you use the longer your divorce procedure is going to last. The long-term divorce process is the last thing any couple wishes to have.
What Documents You Should Provide
When it comes to financial disclosure, it is very important to complete the full list of documents. This will help reveal your entire financial situation. It often happens that you voluntary or involuntary hide some information either because you lack in document and law knowledge, or you think certain property is entirely yours and there is no need to tell your soon-to-be-ex. You may also hide things because you think they dont deserve any piece of it.
Anyway, you are going to end up with penalties and a prolonged divorce procedure. To prevent such an unpleasant situation, you’d better use a reliable divorce service to help you with financial disclosure.
In general, you will have to provide the following documents:
- Property valuation – this document provides the evaluation of the properties you own or have interests in. It is done by a real estate agent or appraiser within the period of the last half a year. If the evaluation happened earlier or the other party or court has some hesitation about it, the court’s appraiser may be ordered to reevaluate the properties.
- Mortgage statement – here you have to provide the current state of your mortgage agreement, including figures, penalties and obligations.
- Bank accounts and investments – you need to provide a statement concerning your bank accounts valid or activated during the last year, either personal, joint, or ones created for benefits. Apart from that, you have to provide the list of stocks, funds, and investments you own. Listing all of your debt is also important.
- Business assets – if you own a business or part of it, you need to provide the evidence including the financial activity of the previous two years of your business and the estimated value of your share in the business. This also should be proved by the documents from the company’s accountant.
- Pension values – you are required to provide the appropriate documents from your pension fund or company, stating the current value of your pension savings and the general information from your pension agreement.
- Income – here you should include a report from your workplace stating your income. In the case you are self-employed, you need to provide a copy of your last two years tax returns. Apart from that, you need to add your income from the business, rent, or any other benefits.
What to Do with the an Uncooperative Spouse
It is a common situation when one partner doesn’t want to cooperate and provide financial disclosure. This makes it impossible to reach a fair financial agreement. No matter if you file divorce papers online or offline, you can ask your divorce lawyer or request the court to settle. Getting professional help, you may end up with the following solutions:
- Request for production of documents – the request is sent to the opposing party or his\her lawyer to get the list of items provided to have a fair financial settlement.
- Interrogatories – your divorce attorney prepares and provides the other party with a list of questions. The point is to reveal the hidden or ambiguous information to be fulfilled and sent back within a 30 or 45-day period.
- Depositions – your attorney is allowed to ask a list of specified questions. These must be answered under oath by the opposing party or any involved persons.
In the end, financial disclosure in divorce will give you the opportunity to gain a in depth picture of your marriage and divorce. It will also help you get a fair financial settlement, and get divorced successfully.
For more articles like this, visit the financial planning section of our site.