At the beginning of a divorce, parties are required to fill out financial statements. These financial statements are important. Parties are generally required to list all their assets and debts. Parties are also asked to list their monthly income and expenses.
This is a difficult task that most individuals don’t enjoy doing. It is a time-consuming and arduous task to list all the personal property of a marital estate from the real estate, bank accounts, investment and retirement accounts all the way down to the credit cards. Likewise, it is not enjoyable to list your income, all the payroll deductions and all your monthly expenses from the mortgage, utilities, car payments, insurance and credit cards.
Most parties want to move through this task quickly. Instead of taking the time to be thorough and accurate, they want to make rough approximations. Many just do not desire accumulating and reviewing the statements or titles for all their assets and debts. Many also have no interest in pulling the statements for all their utilities, insurance or credit card bills.
If an attorney asks for these items, like they should, many resist getting all of these items together. “Why is it necessary?” “Why do I have to do all of this if I just want to get divorced?”
The reality is in getting divorced, a court has to divide all the marital property and debt of the parties. If the court doesn’t have thorough and accurate numbers, it becomes impossible for a court to do this in a just manner. Likewise, in determining child support and spousal support, it is impossible for a court to determine a fair number based on the facts without accurate information relative to income and expenses. On this note as well, it becomes impossible for an attorney to give the proper legal advice about the possibilities, and case strategy, if they do not have this information.
Thus, it is simply critical that an individual going through a divorce take the proper time and energy to complete their financial statement. While it is an arduous and time-consuming task, it is worth the effort.
If you are going through a divorce, Stange Law Firm, PC can help. We have offices throughout Missouri and Illinois.