Financial Declarations in Family Court
As a family law firm in Charleston, South Carolina, we understand that divorce can be a stressful and emotional time for families. However, it's important to remember that financial declarations are a vital aspect of the divorce process, and failing to prepare one properly can lead to expensive legal battles in the future. In this blog post, we'll be discussing why financial declarations are necessary, and how to make sure you have everything in order.
Why are Financial Declarations Necessary?
A financial declaration is a form that outlines all of the financial assets and liabilities of both parties involved in a divorce. https://www.sccourts.org/forms/searchType.cfm
You will have to swear to the truth and accuracy of your financial declaration. This document is required by South Carolina Rule of Court as part of the divorce process. See https://www.sccourts.org/courtReg/displayRule.cfm?ruleID=20.0&subRuleID=&ruleType=FAM
Your financial declaration will have an impact on spousal support, child support, and is used to divide marital property and debts fairly between the parties. Some of the items that should be included in a financial declaration are as follows:
- Income (including bonuses, commissions, and any other sources of income)
- Assets (such as real estate, investments, and retirement accounts)
- Liabilities (such as mortgages, car loans, and credit card debt)
- Monthly expenses (including rent/mortgage payment, utilities, groceries, and other living expenses)
- Child care costs and other child-related expenses – including summer camps, nannies, babysitting fees, etc.
- Health insurance and medical expenses, with health insurance premiums related to the child(ren) broken out separately (talk to your HR department if you don't know what portion of your premium is attributable to the children).
Failing to disclose all of your financial assets and debts in a financial declaration can result in your credibility overall being called into question. This is why it's important to be as thorough and accurate as possible when filling out this form. Accurate disclosure will help avoid any future legal issues and makes the divorce process much smoother and predictable.
How to Prepare a Financial Declaration for your family court case in South Carolina
While preparing a financial declaration can be a time-consuming process, the following steps can help simplify the process:
- Gather all necessary documentation: Start by gathering all financial documents. These may include bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns for the past three years, and investment statements. Having everything in one place streamlines the process.
- Fill out the form: The financial declaration form provided by the court requires input on all financial aspects such as income, assets, liabilities etc. Fill in the details as accurately as possible.
- Verify accuracy: After filling out the form, take the time to double-check the details for any errors or omissions. Missing information in a financial declaration can render the process useless.
- Get the attention of your attorney: A family law attorney is your best bet for guiding you through the declaration process. Get in touch with your law firm to ensure all your forms are complete, accurate, thorough and comply with state regulations.
In conclusion, we can guarantee that if you prepare a thorough and accurate financial declaration, the divorce process will be much smoother and stress-free than if you do not. As a family law firm in Charleston, South Carolina, we can help guide you through the process and ensure that the divorce process, including completing your financial declaration, is done as efficiently and painlessly as possible.