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What is a Financial Affidavit?

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  • Written By: Lori Smith
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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A financial affidavit is a legal document that outlines an individual’s assets, liabilities, gross monthly income, and living expenses. It is generally required for all family law cases that involve divorce, child support, or alimony. In these instances, both parties involved are normally required to complete one. The information each person includes is then calculated, using a specific formula that determines his or her monetary obligations to the other party, if necessary. Each person who completes a financial affidavit for court submission is required to provide truthful answers.

In cases that involve child support, a financial affidavit will show the available income of both the primary residential and non-custodial parents. Based on the information provided in these two documents, a guidelines worksheet is completed, usually by an attorney. Both of the parents' incomes are calculated to find the total amount of funds available for the child, or children’s, care. The percentage of each parent's financial responsibility is determined by individual income, future earning potential, certain living expenses, and the needs of the child.

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Aside from child support, when a couple files for divorce, there are usually assets and liabilities that need to be legally addressed. A family court judge will decide, or approve, an equitable division of the property, such as the family home, cars, boats, or other items of value. There may also be certain bills — such as auto payments, credit card debt, and a mortgage — that require fair division between the parties. A financial affidavit will show the court a complete account of the family's situation to be sure that the sharing of valuables and liability is fair, and based on the resources of each person.

Even if the couple agrees about the way assets and liabilities will be split, a judge must generally require completion of the sworn documents. This is to ensure that the settlement between the parties is realistic and appropriate under the circumstances. It may also be used to determine an alimony payment order from a husband to a wife, or vice versa.

A financial affidavit is completed under oath. It requires a signature of the person who completes it, and normally, a seal from a notary public to authenticate that signature. Proof of income, such as tax returns and paycheck stubs, is often needed to collaborate with sworn statements relating to available income. Knowingly making a false statement on a financial affidavit is a crime, and can result in serious consequences in many court jurisdictions.

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anne23
Post 4

This article is really helpful and informative. I've learned a lot and it clarified some of my queries regarding this matter. I realized the value of financial affidavit.

strawCake
Post 2

@sunnySkys - I think you might be surprised how many couples designate one person to handle the finances. I know a few couples where the wife handles all the money and the husband knows nothing about their expenses of assets. So it's not always wives being uninformed!

Anyway, I'm glad there are consequences for falsifying these affidavits. They're extremely important in helping the court determine accurate child support. I would hate for a child to lose out, which could easily happen. If one parent lies on a financial affidavit, it could affect the amount of child support the custodial parents gets.

sunnySkys
Post 1

Wow. It sounds like a financial affidavit can be extremely important, especially during a divorce. I think you would need to have pretty decent records to accurately fill out something like this.

I think this is also a good reason for both parties in a marriage to be informed about the finances. I have a few friends who let their husbands take care of all their finances. They don't know how much their bills are or how much money is coming in. They just know everything is taken care of.

I think in a divorce, they could really get hosed. If their husband decided to do something shady, they would have no idea, because they had no idea what was going on in the first place!

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