During a divorce or child support matter, both parties are required to fill out a financial declaration. This form, which is done under oath and penalty of perjury, attempts to provide a picture of each party’s financial state.

The first section indicates your employment and educational history.

The second section is a summary of other information you will provide in the rest of the document.

The third section asks you to calculate your net income. It provides you a place to indicate your gross monthly income. This includes all income from wages or salary, interest, business income, spousal support, gifts, and any other source of income. Then you indicate monthly deductions such as taxes, retirement, business expenses, and spousal support you pay. These numbers are taken from tax returns, W-2s, and business records.

In the fourth section, you must disclose the income of other members of your household and income received from child support. If you have remarried or have a significant other that forms part of your household, you must disclose this information. Remember, you are doing this under the penalty of perjury if you mislead the court.

You get to indicate any disputes about income in the next section, section five. Section six asks for available assets. Thus, sections three through six give a good picture to the court of all your resources.

Sections seven through eleven provide space for you to indicate monthly expenses and debts. This section will help the court determine a basis for determining how much expendable income a person has per month.

When filling out a financial affidavit, it is important to be as thorough as possible both with monthly expenses and monthly income. Failing to include relevant income information can result in severe consequences. The judge in the case can impose both criminal and civil penalties, including awarding less property or spousal support, fines, or even jail time.

In addition to the problems caused by failing to include all sources of income, it is just as important to include all types of expenses. If the financial affidavit does not accurately reflect a person’s financial situation, then the court may not award sufficient spousal or child support. Since it is a time-consuming process to adjust child or spousal support after an order has been entered, it is better for parties to a case to make sure that their numbers are accurate before submitting a financial affidavit.

Making sure that your financial affidavit is correct can be a complicated process. At Pacific Northwest Family Law, our attorneys understand these forms and will help you make sure that your documents are correct. Our goal is to help you plan for both you and your family’s financial future after a divorce or separation.

To schedule an appointment and learn more about how our Washington family law attorneys can help you, contact our office today by calling 360-926-9112.