The Importance of an Accurate Financial Declaration

When a spouse files for divorce the responding spouse has 20 days to file an answer to the complaint for divorce.  Sometimes the parties have worked everything out before hand and so an answer is not necessary.  When a Utah divorce is contested and the responding spouse files an answer the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure require the parties to exchange financial information.  They do this by completing a financial declaration and providing copies of financial documents.

Each party must provide the following to each other:

  1. Gross Monthly Income – total income before taxes.
  2. Monthly Tax Deductions – this is usually determined by the number of dependents you have.
  3. Net Monthly Income – total income once taxes are taken out.
  4. Monthly Expenses – this includes everything: car insurance, rent, mortgage, food, household supplies, laundry, charitable contributions, utilities, insurance, medical expenses, clothes, child care, alimony and child support ordered in other cases.
  5. Real Property – home, second homes, rentals, commercial properties, and other properties you own.
  6. Personal Property – This includes everything that is not attached to real property.  Couches, cars, clothes, tools, bikes, etc.
  7. Financial Assets – This includes 401(k)s, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and any other financial accounts.
  8. Business Interests – Any ownership interest that a party has in a partnership, LLC, or corporation has to be disclosed.
  9. Debts – any debts incurred either individually or while married need to be disclosed.  This includes credit card debt, mortgages, car loans, and any other debt.

The following documents required by Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 26.1 to be attached to this Financial Declaration:

  • For the two tax years before the petition in this case was filed, complete federal and state income tax returns, including Form W-2, Form 1099, and Form K-1, and supporting tax schedules and attachments filed by you and by any entity in which you have a majority or controlling interest.
  • Pay stubs and other evidence of all earned and un-earned income for the 12 months before the petition in this case was filed.
  • All loan applications and financial statements prepared or used by the party completing the financial declaration within the 12 months before the petition in this case was filed.
  • Documents verifying the value of all real estate in which the party has an interest, including the most recent appraisal, tax valuation and refinance documents.
  • All statements for the 3 months before the petition in this case was filed for all financial accounts, including checking, savings, money market funds, certificates of deposit, brokerage, investment, and retirement.

It is extremely important that you provide accurate information on your financial declaration.  The information you provide will have a significant impact on your rights associated with alimony, child support, property division, and/or other financial matters in your case.  Thus, if you provide inaccurate information, the court will issue an order that may negatively impact your interests and rights.

Only you know how much money you make, how much you spend each month, and what your assets and liabilities are, so you must make sure you provide accurate information.

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