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What Is an Affidavit of Property?

Affidavits of property are commonly filed as part of a divorce proceeding.
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  • Written By: Daphne Mallory
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2014
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An affidavit of property is a legal document sworn by the affiant, the person who swears to an affidavit, that the property, debts, and income listed are owned by the affiant and that the information listed is true. Real estate, personal property, and intangible assets are often itemized in the affidavit as well as the approximate value. These affidavits are used in many court proceedings and financial transactions, such as divorce and dissolution pleadings, immigration filings, and real estate transactions. Institutions, government agencies, and courts often provide a form, making it unnecessary to write an affidavit from scratch. A court magistrate or notary public often administers the oath required for the affidavit, and a false affidavit can result in criminal prosecution and trial.

There are several types of affidavits of property, including an affidavit of property ownership and an affidavit of property value. The affidavit of property ownership is a document in which the affiant swears to own the property described in the affidavit. The affidavit of property value lists the sales price or appraised value of real estate and personal property owned by the affiant.

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In divorce and dissolution proceedings and for annulments and legal separation cases, an affidavit of property is used to help determine issues such as alimony and child support. The plaintiff and defendant must each submit an affidavit of property that lists all of the assets they own and the estimated value. They must often swear that the affidavit is true before the clerk of the court. Some of the property listed in the affidavit includes automobiles, bank accounts, and household goods. While debt is not a type of property, personal and business debts have to be listed as well, including the monthly payments and the principal balance for each debt owed.

Some affiants are required to list all sources of income. Categories of income include net income salaries and net business income received on a monthly and annual basis. A plaintiff who intentionally misrepresents or omits income sources may be charged with perjury in some jurisdictions for submitting a false affidavit. The type of case or transaction determines whether the income category has to be included in an affidavit of property. It’s often required in cases where the affiant is applying for benefits or seeking a financial award from the court in family court proceedings to aid in determining how much financial assistance or equitable remedy to give the affiant.

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Discuss this Article

ceilingcat
Post 3

I never thought that something like this could be use in immigration proceedings. However, it would make sense in a country that requires immigrants to be in a certain financial situation.

I'm a US citizen, and a few years ago I was looking into immigrating to Canada. They have specific requirements you must fulfill, such as having a certain amount of assets so you can contribute to the economy of where ever you move to.

I imagine someone immigrating to Canada might have to fill out an affidavit of property!

sunnySkys
Post 2

@starrynight - Funny, I've heard some men make the same complaint about paying "too much" child support. So sad.

On that note, I must say I'm very glad that falsifying an affidavit of property is considered perjury, which is a punishable offense. I'm pretty sure you can even go to jail for it, which is as it should be.

It sounds like in most cases when these things are used it's important to know everything about the persons finances. Leaving out a source of income could result in an unfair settlement to whatever case the affidavit is being used for.

starrynight
Post 1

It sounds like an affidavit of property basically gives a snapshot of a person's financial situation. I can see how this would be useful in a ton of court proceedings, especially proceedings in family court.

Like the article said, if one parent is seeking child support, the court can use the affidavit of property to figure out how much the other parent can and should pay.

That's why I don't really buy it when I hear men complain that they have to pay an "unfair" amount in child support to their ex. The court makes a decision based on all of the financial information about a person!

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