Are you thinking about getting a divorce, but you are not sure about the impact that a divorce will have on your financial situation? What should your game plan be financially as you move toward divorce? You might be asking these types of financial questions. Do I have to disclose my assets and my financial situation? Can I hide my assets in a divorce?
First do not ever try to hide your assets or be anything but upfront about your finances in a divorce. Your first and your best policy when dealing with divorce is to be upfront and clear about what you want and what there is to be divided. This involves being truthful and fair for both parties involved.
Pursuant to Supplemental Probate and Family Court Rule 401, both spouses must complete and exchange a court approved Financial Statement form, which discloses their income, weekly expenses, assets, and liabilities. If a spouse makes $75,000.00 or more in a year, then he/she must complete a Long Form Financial Statement. If a spouse makes less than $75,000.00 in a year, then he/she must complete a Short Form Financial Statement.
Within forty-five (45) days from the date the Defendant is served the Summons and Complaint for divorce, Supplemental Probate Court Rule 410 requires that both parties exchange the following financial documents:
1. The parties’ federal and state income tax returns and schedule for the past three (3) years.
2. Statements for the past three (3) years for all bank accounts held in the name of either party individually or jointly, or in the name of another person for the benefit of either party.
3. The four (4) most recent pay stubs from each employer from whom the party worked.
4. Documentation regarding the cost and nature of available health insurance coverage.
5. Statements for the past three (3) years for any securities, stocks, bonds, notes or obligations, certificates of deposit owned or held by either party or held by either party for the benefit of the parties’ minor children, 401(k) statements, IRA statements, and pension plan statements for all accounts listed on the 401 financial statements.
6. Copies of any loan or mortgage applications made, prepared, or submitted by either party within the last three (3) years prior to the filing of the complaint for divorce.
7. Copies of any financial statements and/or statements of assets and liabilities prepared by either party within the last three (3) years prior to the filing of the complaint for divorce.
This disclosure is accompanied by a Statement of Compliance with Supplemental Probate Court Rule 410. This Statement of Compliance is signed under the pains and penalties of perjury, which means if any assets are not disclosed, and they are required to be disclosed under Supplemental Probate Court Rule 410, then that party can be subject to criminal sanctions for committing perjury.
One the divorce is finalized, if your spouse finds that you have hidden assets during the divorce action, then you could be subject to criminal penalties.
Finally, this comes out after a divorce is finalized, or if a spouse finds that another spouse hid assets during then pending divorce action, the Court has the authority to reopen the divorce action and reapportion assets between both spouses, based upon the newly found assets. This typically does not end well if you are the party who has hidden the assets. Typically, the spouse that discovers the previously hidden assets will be awarded a greater proportion of marital assets when the divorce action is re-opened.
Please reach out to one of our Boston Divorce attorneys with financial expertise today. Please contact us today to discuss any of your Divorce questions or financial concerns. Call our office at (617) 539-1010 ext. 111 for a confidential consultation with Attorney Edward Amaral. Attorney Amaral will explain the Divorce process and financial issues while taking the time to answer any questions that you have.