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Financial affidavits in divorce

In a divorce, there are several documents that a Pennsylvania resident should gather. Some of these documents may be items such as deeds, insurance contracts and loan documents that are not necessarily required but are nonetheless helpful to have on hand. However, some documents, such as a financial affidavit, may be required by the court in a divorce.

A financial affidavit is a document that outlines four important things: income, expenses, assets and debt. It gives the court, and the other spouse, an idea of your financial situation, which can aid with fairly distributing property. However, far from being simple, a financial affidavit can be a tremendously complicated document.

Its complexity is due to the fact that it requires a person to sift through years of finances. That includes not only going through bank records, but also going through credit card statements and accounting for each dollar spent. Failing to do so could end up damaging one's case in court as financial affidavits are often used for calculating alimony and child support, in addition to other financial matters that may arise in a divorce case.

Moreover, it is important for Pennsylvania residents going through a divorce to keep in mind that a financial affidavit is a sworn statement. That means that when you create one, you are swearing that the document is factual to the best of your knowledge. Thus, taking an 'educated' guess to save some time could end up causing more harm than good. Of course, though, innocent mistakes are sometimes made, in which case a person may opt to revise their affidavit.

Source: Forbes, "The Five Key Points Divorcing Women Need to Know About Financial Affidavits," Jeff Landers, May 9, 2012

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