Obtaining full and complete financial disclosure by both sides is a key component to the family law practice. It allows both sides to acknowledge a full understanding and receipt of information and documentation relative to income, assets and liabilities. There are many ways to obtain this information; while some parties exchange financials voluntarily, others are not so forthcoming.
In Chicago divorce cases, the financial affidavit is a comprehensive form created and provided by the court requiring divorcing couples to fully disclose their respective income, monthly expenses, assets and debts. This document allows the divorce lawyers to assist and advise the client. If needed, the financial affidavit also aids the court with resolving issues such as maintenance, child support, attorneys’ fees, injunctive relief and the like during the divorce process. This is one of the most important documents in your entire case, prepared by you, and reviewed by your divorce lawyer.
No discovery can be issued, nor can you seek maintenance, child support or attorneys’ fees from your spouse until your financial affidavit has been completed. The financial affidavit demonstrates each parties’ income and the expenses and needs of each party (and their children).
Your income and expenses on the financial affidavit are monthly averages; it may be necessary to look at the entire year of expenses to come up with an accurate average to present on your financial affidavit. For example, utilities can fluctuate depending on the season and relative usage and will oftentimes need to contact your utility company to obtain your expense for the year prior. You will also need supporting financial documentation, such as income tax returns, pay stubs, bank account records, credit card statements, retirement and investment account statements, insurance policies and the like.
Whether you are contemplating divorce or your case is underway, the Chicago family law team at WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC can guide you through the process.
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