You’ve just been told that you have to prepare a sworn financial statement, otherwise known as a financial affidavit in other states, for your divorce or child support case. These documents can be tedious and time-consuming to complete. On top of making sure that you include all the necessary information in your own affidavit, you’ll also want to know what to look for in the affidavit of your spouse. So, how exactly do you manage all of this information without accidentally leaving out crucial financial information? The answer is simple.
If you need an attorney experienced in financial disclosures (or financial affidavits) for divorce, consider Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton. As Denver’s most prominent divorce attorneys, we’re highly skilled in complex financial matters. For a complex case, you need a knowledgeable family law attorney on your side. If you’d like to discuss your case or set up a consultation with an attorney, call 303-951-4506 today.
What is a Sworn Financial Statement?
A sworn financial statement outlines your financial situation: your assets, debts, income, and expenses. The document has a lot of the same information that a bank requires when you apply for a loan. The sworn financial statement is one of the central financial documents in a divorce. These documents are the most scrutinized documents that relate to the financial issues in a divorce case. This makes it crucial that you understand exactly what the sworn financial statement is and how it works.
Courts use these documents for many purposes:
- to consider what assets may be separate property.
- how to divide marital assets.
- to consider how much money you may owe or receive for spousal maintenance.
- to analyze child support.
- to consider an award to you for your attorney fees.
Spouses exchange this document, along with other disclosures, early in the divorce process. If either spouse sees inconsistencies, believes information is missing, or believes information is incorrect, the divorce process provides opportunities to drill down further to address these problems. Attorneys for both parties will scrutinize each party’s sworn financial statement and look for these discrepancies.
How to Fill Out a Financial Affidavit or Sworn Financial Statement for Divorce
To properly fill out your financial affidavit for your divorce case, we recommend following the steps below.
- We will provide you with a form. In the alternative, we use software on a secure server that makes the process of pulling information together less burdensome.
- We will provide a list of other documents (known as disclosures) you’ll need to pull together. These documents provide you with the information you’ll need to fill out your sworn financial statement.
- Begin to put the information into the form that is requested. You can always go back to add any information you may need to get from another source.
- Check over everything to determine if all information is correct.
- Have your attorney and paralegal review the information you’ve pulled together to assure that everything is in order and as accurate as possible.
What Happens if You Lie on a Sworn Financial Statement?
A financial affidavit or sworn financial statement is a court document. Moreover, it’s a sworn document: when you sign it, you are telling everyone who reads it that everything in it is true to the best of your knowledge. For this reason, if you knowingly lie on them, you knowingly lie to the court. Lying to the court comes with a range of possible penalties depending on the severity, which include:
- A possible perjury charge, which is punishable by jail time and a fine.
- An award of attorney fees against you for the time and effort the other attorney in the case had to expend to unravel the lie.
- Loss of credibility with the judge. This can then have a major impact on how disputed issues in your case are resolved.
The best way to avoid the pitfalls that can come from mistakes or misrepresentations in your sworn financial statement is to work very closely with your attorney. We have years of experience helping our clients fill these forms out, so we can evaluate the information you have to help you provide a full and fair financial disclosure.
Contact Denver Divorce Attorneys Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton Today
Divorce can be difficult to navigate, especially if you have a lot of assets. It’s important that your lawyer has experience handling these cases and knows how to analyze the complex issues involved in high-asset divorces. Our lawyers are experienced at analyzing intricate financial matters during divorce proceedings so let us help make this process easier for you. To schedule your consultation with Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, call 303-951-4506.