How to Declare Your Income and Expenses on a Financial Statement During a Divorce
When you are getting a divorce in Massachusetts, it’s important that you fill out your financial statement correctly. This worksheet will be used to determine any alimony or child support payments, and provides the other party with a clear look at your financial status as you go through the divorce process.
Separate But Equal Homes
If you have children, the point of filling out an income and expense worksheet clearly, is to determine the amount of financial support available to the children. When the court takes into consideration the income and expenses of both parents, support is determined based on the assumption that the children will be supported equally in both homes. Child support guidelines are decided based on a pre-determined formula as set by the state of Massachusetts.
Filling Out the Form Correctly
It is your responsibility to fill out your income and expense worksheet correctly, and it is best that you don’t wait until the last minute in order to do this. As you gather your financial information, remember to keep records of any bank accounts and expenditures, just in case you need to provide proof to the court. For example, if your paycheck varies from week to week, you must take an average of your last three months and use the average income number instead.
Preparation Will Help You Fill Out Your Financial Worksheet
Being prepared to fill out your income and expenses worksheet will take some time. In order to fill out the form correctly, you should have twelve months of pay stubs, any telephone bills you have accumulated for the last three months, all gas and utility bills for the last three months, tax returns from last year, and your mortgage statement if you own your own home.
If you are a self-employed person in the state of Massachusetts, you need to fill out the Schedule A of the Financial Statement.
All Sections of the Financial Worksheet Must be Filled Out
This document is important, and this is the only way the other party is going to learn about your financial status. You must fill out every section of the worksheet, unless your address is impounded because there is a danger to you or your children if your address is relayed to the other party. When you begin to fill out your gross weekly income information, it’s necessary to include any benefits you receive such as TAFDC or Food Stamps. Public benefits count towards your weekly gross income.
Expenses that Are Deducted from Your Gross Weekly Income
The court expects that you will have bills each week, and there are specific expenses that you will write down on your financial statement for the court. These expenses include: utilities, house supplies, child care costs, health insurance costs, cleaning supplies, clothing, car repair and food. If you aren’t sure of a specific amount, it is in your best interest to take an average week of costs and put that down on your expenses.
You must take into consideration other bills that you have, which include car payments, insurance payments, uninsured medical costs, and more. While not everything gets deducted at 100% from your gross weekly income, the clearer you are to the court system, the easier it will be to determine equitable child support payments for each parent.
Your Financial Statement Includes Assets You Hold
If you own a home, you must add this to your financial statement. You will include the current mortgage balance, and the current worth of your home, which will indicate the amount of equity you have in your home. You will also include any other property that you own, including personal property, jewelry, and other valuables. You are entitled to know the valuable that are in the possession of the other party, and the courts except full disclosure when you fill out these financial statement.
Liabilities are Also on the Financial Statement
As you fill out the forms, liabilities are also listed. Liabilities include old tax bills, credit cards, car loans, student loans and old medical bills, among other bills. Be clear with your liabilities as these are part of your financial picture.
If you need help with your financial statement or proceeding with your divorce, call our office today for a free consultation.